“The new legislation will enable a smoother and more effective transition from the response phase to recovery after an emergency, says Mr Brownlee.
“It will do this by providing those carrying out recovery work with powers previously only available under a state of emergency, such as the ability to limit access to public spaces and remove or secure dangerous structures.
“The new law also puts a greater onus on Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups working with the community and planning for the recovery phase before emergencies happen.
“Historically, we’ve tended to focus more on preparing for and responding to events, so this is about ensuring we’re well prepared for all phases of an emergency.”
The legislation passed today focuses on supporting recovery from small to medium scale emergencies, the most frequent types experienced in New Zealand.
“We will look at the legislation needed to support recovery from larger scale events. However, we must be flexible and accept that if we experience a significant emergency in the future, bespoke legislation may always be needed to address particular impacts that arise at the time,” says Mr Brownlee.
“I’d like to thank CDEM Groups for their help developing the bill, as well as the great work they do on an ongoing basis for their communities.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the unanimous support this bill received across the House. This reflects the importance of the legislation to creating more resilient communities in New Zealand, as well as the high degree of cooperation evident in the legislation’s passage through Parliament.”