Port Lyttelton says it has complied with a Civil Defence order to stop dumping rubble from the February earthquake into Lyttelton Harbour.
Civil Defence says the port was given permission to dump debris from damaged areas of the port, so it could resume operations.
But it says the company then started dumping rubble from around Christchurch as part of a land reclamation project.
Civil Defence says the port was ordered to stop and to seek resource consent if it wants to continue dumping.
The port company will not comment on the matter other than to say it has stopped dumping rubble.