A group of South Island councils says proposed rules on earthquake-prone buildings - which could cost up to $1.8 billion to implement - are way beyond what provincial New Zealand can afford.
The Otago Mayoral Forum and 10 councils from Timaru south have made a joint submission to the Government about the proposed changes.
Dunedin mayor Dave Cull, who is a spokesperson for the forum, says the Government should allow for regional variation on how its outcomes are met.
"The variables that affect cost and risk around the country differ from region to region. If you apply a one-size fits all it may not suit anywhere, let alone everywhere."
Mr Cull says buildings in the lower South Island are worth less than those in Wellington and Auckland, but the costs to strengthen them are the same.