Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says Christchurch City Council wasted an opportunity in deciding to save the town hall, instead of building a new performing arts precinct.
Councillors on Thursday unanimously decided to fully restore the damaged building at a cost of $127 million.
The Government plan for the rebuild of the central city allows for a performing arts precinct that would have included all the facilities provided by the town hall.
Mr Brownlee, whose office is overseeing the rebuild, called the council's decision to restore the 40 year old building a lost opportunity.
He said the Government's proposal was for a more comprehensive precinct that would have included the the Court Theatre and linked with the Isaac Theatre Royal as well.