A Christchurch business leader says a larger role for public-private partnerships, or PPPs, for key projects in the quake-flattened city centre could make the council's share of the costs more palatable.
Under a PPP arrangement, a private company funds, builds and maintains facilities in return for an annual fee.
Peter Townsend, who heads the Canterbury Employers' Chambers of Commerce, says he backs selling council assets to fund the projects - which include a convention centre and sports stadium, and could cost $787 million.
But he says where private-sector backers are prepared to put up sufficient money for projects, the council may only have to invest a small amount or none at all.
A city councillor, Yani Johansson, doesn't back asset sales and is sceptical about PPPs. He says he worries that companies will profiteer by charging excessive prices for public use of the facilities.