This page has information on the Ministry for the Environment’s work programme to support recovery efforts following the Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquakes.
About the support
The 7.8 magnitude Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquake on 14 November 2016 and subsequent aftershocks have resulted in many challenges for the affected communities and unique environments.
The Ministry for the Environment is supporting response and recovery efforts by ensuring resource management requirements are not overly onerous for those affected by the earthquakes or undertaking emergency works, while still maintaining appropriate safeguards for the environment.
The Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Act 2016 and the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Act 2016 enable essential recovery works.
Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Act 2016
- Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Act 2016 [New Zealand Legislation website]
The Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Act 2016 modifies aspects of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to enable emergency works following the Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquakes.
- extends the time allowed for agencies and utility network operators to notify relevant councils and retrospectively apply for consents for emergency work undertaken in the aftermath of an earthquake
- permits emergency work done by rural property owners to address earthquake damage that would previously have required resource consent
- provides legislative certainty to the local councils as they proceed, under emergency powers, to restore the Kaikōura harbour on both the north and south sides.
Three information sheets explain what the Act means for those affected by the earthquake and those undertaking emergency works in response to the earthquake.
- Fixing earthquake damage on rural land: recent changes to Resource Management Act requirements
- Exercising emergency powers under the RMA: recent changes following the Kaikoura earthquake
- About the consent process to restore the Kaikōura harbours
For more information on the Act
- Regulatory impact statement
- Minister’s media release: Emergency legislation for earthquake response [Beehive website]
- Minister’s media release: Second earthquake bill passes in Parliament [Beehive website]
Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Act 2016
- Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Act 2016 [New Zealand Legislation website]
The Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Act 2016 allows the Governor-General to make Orders in Council (a form of regulation) on the recommendation of a relevant Minister to exempt, modify, or extend provisions in certain enactments, including legislation and local plans, to assist with earthquake recovery. This Act includes a number of built in checks and balances to ensure that an Order in Council does not go beyond what Parliament intended.
The Ministry of Transport is leading work on an Order in Council that will streamline statutory requirements for the restoration of the State Highway 1 coastal road and rail corridor. The Ministry for the Environment is one of several central government agencies supporting this work.
The Ministry for the Environment is also working with earthquake-affected councils to identity what medium and longer term actions we can take to support recovery efforts. Some of these actions may require further Orders in Council being made.