State of national emergency extended furtherCivil Defence Earthquake Recovery
Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency until 31 March, in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February.
The state of national emergency in New Zealand - that applies specifically to Christchurch City - was declared on 23 February. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a state of national emergency can be declared for a maximum of seven days at a time only.
“There is still considerable work to be done before the state of national emergency can be lifted and recovery work passed on to the appropriate agency or agencies,” Mr Carter said.
“Until then, the National Controller remains in control of the functions, duties, and powers of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group and Group controller. He works in consultation with central government and local authorities, including the Mayor, on this massive recovery operation.
“Christchurch needs significant support and the state of national emergency allows for a wider range of assets and powers to support the citizens of Christchurch than would normally be utilised under a state of local emergency.
“The situation in Christchurch is difficult and fluid, but the National Controller is working to increase awareness of the powers he holds and to provide a better understanding of the Civil Defence operations that are underway.
“Civil Defence is aware of the importance of restoring business activity in Christchurch and is working with business leaders to address issues around access to vital records and property or stock by business owners.
“This work remains subject to public safety.
“Work is also focused on residents being adequately housed in safe and warm accommodation, with reliable access to water, functional sewerage disposal, electricity and communications.”