Second earthquake Bill passes in Parliament

  • Gerry Brownlee
Leader of the House Civil Defence

Leader of the House and Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the passing of the Hurunui/Kaikoura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Bill 2016 in Parliament today.

“This is the second of three Bills in response to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14, and is about supporting individuals and communities to get their lives and livelihoods back on track as quickly as possible,” says Mr Brownlee.

“In times like this, we have to be sensible about balancing the need to carry out necessary and immediate response and recovery work, against the usual laws in place that govern such activities.

“The Bill passed by Parliament today does three things.

“Firstly, it temporarily extends the time allowed for agencies and utility network operators to notify relevant councils, and retrospectively apply for consents for emergency work undertaken in the quake’s aftermath.

“Secondly, it permits rural property owners to carry out emergency work to address quake-related damage that would previously have required resource consent.

“Thirdly, it provides local councils with emergency powers to restore the Kaikoura harbours, while at the same time providing safeguards to ensure any impact on the marine environment is avoided, remedied or mitigated.

“In affected communities right now, people are working hard to move on from the 14 November earthquake and repair damaged property and infrastructure.

“The Government is right behind them, and this legislation is part of broader support to help them get on top of work that needs to be done.”