First of earthquake Bills passes in Parliament
The first of three new Bills in response to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 has passed unanimously in Parliament.
Leader of the House and Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Bills have been drafted by officials who have drawn on the experience of the Canterbury earthquakes and then further developed by a cross-party group.
“The new legislation recognises the extraordinary situation faced by earthquake-affected communities, particularly in the Kaikoura and Hurunui districts,” Mr Brownlee says.
“The Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Act 2016 Amendment Bill (CDEMAA Amendment Bill) passed through all stages in the House today.
“The CDEMAA passed just four days before the November 14 earthquake but was not due to come into force next year.
“The CDEMAA Amendment Bill has brought forward most of the Act’s provisions and will enable a smoother and more effective transition from the response phase to recovery after an emergency.
“It will do this by providing those carrying out recovery work with powers that would previously only be available under a state of emergency, such as the ability to limit access to public spaces and remove or secure dangerous structures.
“It also provides that a Civil Defence controller or a Recovery Manager may require a building owner to undertake earthquake assessments of their properties.
“The Hurunui/Kaikoura Earthquakes Recovery Emergency Relief Bill 2016 was introduced today and will come back to the House on Thursday after a one-day select committee stage.
“The third proposed Bill – the Hurunui/Kaikoura Earthquakes Recovery Bill 2016 – will be introduced to the House on Thursday before going to a short select committee stage,” Mr Brownlee says.
Information about the CDEMAA Amendment Bill can be viewed here.