Millionaire publisher Barry Colman funded the court action that has temporarily stopped the demolition of three art deco houses in the Auckland suburb of St Heliers.
The 1930s buildings on Turua Street are due to be removed to make way for a retail centre but opponents say it will ruin the character of the village.
A temporary injunction order was issued on Thursday and is in force until Monday.
Mr Colman, one of the richest men in New Zealand, says the developer is not at fault, but it is not right to knock beautiful homes over for a concrete slab.
The Save Our St Heliers group is asking the Environment Court to make Auckland Council complete a formal heritage assessment.
But a lawyer representing the development company says the court does not have the authority to do this.
The Environment Court is to talk with the parties involved again on Friday afternoon.