The review is of the response from the date of the earthquake until 30 April 2011. On that date the response phase officially ended and recovery was taken over by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
The review was released on 5 October 2012 and its purpose is:
"From an emergency management perspective identify the practices that should be reinforced and identify the processes and policies that warrant improvements."
On 11 December 2012 the Minister of Civil Defence released an interagency Corrective Action Plan based on the independent review. The plan involves the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, State Services Commission, Police, Fire Service, Defence Force and the Ministries of Social Development, Health, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Business Innovation and Enterprise.