The Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Act 2016, introduced in December 2016 and administered by the Ministry for the Environment amended Resource Management Act processes in three ways:
- extended the timeframes for agencies and utility network operators to notify relevant Councils and retrospectively apply for any resource consents required when using the existing emergency works provisions in the Resource Management Act.
- provided for a modified resource consent process to enable the rehabilitation of the Kaikōura Harbour.
- enabled rural land owners and occupiers to undertake some repair works without needing resource consents. This subpart was repealed on 31 July 2017.
Other than the subpart that has already been repealed, the Act is repealed on 1 April 2018.
A review of the Emergency Relief Act in April and May 2017 showed, that while there was limited uptake of the provisions of the Relief Act, respondents reported the Act showed there was support for those affected and enabled the local Councils to concentrate on response and recovery efforts. Councils appreciated being able to tell landowners they could undertake recovery work without needing to assess proposals against the RMA plan provisions.
Although the restoration of the Kaikōura Harbour was carried out under the existing emergency works provisions in the Resource Management Act (sections 330 and 330A), the Emergency Relief Act enabled the work to be planned and committed to with the certainty that it would be able to be done.