Review of the legislative framework for recovery from emergencies
The Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Amendment Bill arose from a review of the legislative framework for recovery. There are two stages to this review:
- Stage One: focussed on small to moderate-scale emergencies (which are the most frequent experienced in New Zealand; for example, from floods and weather related event) and enhancing the recovery provisions in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002; and
- Stage Two: focussed on large-scale emergencies (i.e. similar to the 22 February 2011 earthquake) and what legislation might be needed for recovery. Stage Two has not yet commenced.
The CDEM Amendment Bill seeks to provide a smooth and coordinated transition of arrangements and powers from the response phase to the recovery phase. The proposed amendments have regard to the constitutional conventions that need to accompany any legislation that provides powers in emergency-like situations.
In addition, the proposed amendments provide a mandate for recovery management for the entirety of the recovery – short, medium and long-term. The amendments pick up the framework for recovery managers and offices already existing in the Guide to the National CDEM Plan, and will provide for this in the Act.