The Government has today introduced the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Bill to further support recovery and rebuild efforts after recent weather events in the North Island.
“We know from our experiences following the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes that it will take some time before we completely understand the consequences of the damage caused and what communities need to support their recovery,” said Emergency Management Minister, Kieran McAnulty.
He said the Bill provides the flexibility necessary to allow communities and local government, supported by the Government, to respond quickly to issues that occur during recovery efforts without needing to anticipate every power or statutory provision that may need to be amended.
“This flexibility was an important component of the response to and recovery from the Kaikōura earthquake, and we want to provide the same flexibility to all areas affected by the recent weather events,” the Minister said.
The Bill also contains safeguards to ensure any amendments to legislation through Orders in Council are made appropriately. The safeguards build on those put in place when Orders in Council were used to amend legislation following the Kaikōura earthquake.
“The Bill provides the Government with significant powers to amend legislation that are ordinarily reserved for Parliament, so it is appropriate that there are safeguards in place around how those powers are exercised.”
“This is why the Bill requires any proposed Orders to be reviewed by an independent panel with members who have experience and knowledge of local Māori communities as well as legal, local government, and other necessary expertise.
“Orders are generally subject to engagement processes with affected local communities, including local Māori communities, so that any response best meets the needs of those communities.
“The Government is committed to facilitating the recovery of those affected by the recent severe weather events. This bill will provide real assistance to anyone who has suffered as a result of recent events,” Mr McAnulty said.