The payment of $28 million of Christchurch ratepayers' money towards a privately owned carpark has been defended by one of those involved in the deal.
The payment was revealed in a release of official information to RNZ and concerns a carpark attached to The Crossing, the $140m retail complex owned by Philip Carter, one of Christchurch's wealthiest men.
The city is currently considering asset sales and rates' rises to help balance its budget.
The cash contribution was agreed to in 2014 but details have been kept secret until now.
City councillor Raf Manji said the payment was essential for the success of the rebuild.
He said the investment that was now happening in the CBD would have dried up completely without the deal.
"So there was a kind of domino effect, and I think the problem we had was that the delay in council making a decision on this really was starting to eat away at confidence in people investing. And once this was approved, everything else fell into place.
Mr Manji said at the time the deal was signed, the council's books were in a less healthy state than they were now.