Housing Minister Nick Smith is playing down the growing Housing New Zealand waiting list for those most in need in Christchurch.
The number of those on the priority A list - which includes families living in garages, cars or overcrowded homes - has risen by 100 to 272 in the past four months.
Dr Smith says increasing demand from rebuild workers arriving in Christchurch and people needing temporary accommodation while their homes are repaired is putting extra pressure on the city's already depleted housing stock.
But he says Housing New Zealand's waiting lists remain smaller than they were before the earthquakes.
Dr Smith says the Government is spending more than $1 billion altogether on 700 new homes due for completion by the end of 2015 and repairs to 5000 state homes.