Christchurch mayor Bob Parker is rejecting criticism about the speed of the recovery from last year's 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake.
The leader of an action group for small businesses, Matthew Carpenter, says the demolition of some buildings, like Manchester Courts, is taking too long and should have been finished six weeks ago.
Mr Carpenter says cordons around damaged buildings are forcing shops in the city centre out of business.
But Mr Parker says demolition is in the hands of the building owners.
He says the council has done all it can get businesses to speed up the work, and has been frustrated with some owners who haven't been co-operating.