The man who led the response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina in the United States, says Christchurch needs to focus on finding a rough consensus and rebuilding quickly.
Katrina displaced more than 1 million people in 2005.
Admiral Thad Allen of the Coastguard was in Christchurch at the time of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake on 22 February this year that severely damaged the city including the central business district.
Admiral Allen says the most important thing is to start rebuilding quickly, rather than getting caught up in prolonged debate.
He told Nine to Noon that if a community spends endless time debating how to create the perfect city, then funding and political support for the rebuilding effort can wane.
Admiral Allen said that if the community cannot find a consensus about everything, then it should find what it does agree on and do it quickly.