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Proposed new law will help communities recover from emergencies

A proposed law change to help communities recover from small to moderate scale emergencies has started to make its way through Parliament. The Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

The most frequent emergencies in New Zealand are small to moderate events. The proposed law change will better support recovery management, to ensure it is timely, effective and focused. The Bill will provide authority for those directing, coordinating and managing recovery.

The Bill will provide a legislative mandate for recovery managers, require recovery planning and provide powers to support transition into recovery through the creation of transition notices.

Transition notices will support a seamless transition from response into focussed recovery, at a local or national level. The powers available during a transition notice period will make a material difference to recovery where Recovery Managers need:

  •  to prevent people from entering land that has subsided or may be at risk;
  • to conserve limited fuel resources in isolated communities to prevent a run on fuel supplies following an emergency; and

  • to shore up dangerous structures.

 The proposed powers would only be able to be used to support recovery activities during the transition phase and would need to be proportionate, reflecting the consequences and scale of the emergency; and only exercised to the extent reasonably necessary for the public interest.

Read the Minister of Civil Defence's media release here.