Parliament's Government Administration Committee has released a report on the Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Bill with a recommendation that it be passed with amendments.
The bill has the objective of amending the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 to enable better recovery from New Zealand's most frequent emergencies - those of small to moderate scale. It would amend the Act to support the transition from emergency response to recovery.
It is the first stage of a wider review being undertaken by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management into the legislative framework for recovery.
Key provisions in the bill include:
- Establishing a legislative framework for recovery management, by providing a mandate for roles and responsibilities of recovery managers during emergency recovery, and strengthening recovery planning before an emergency occurs.
- Supporting a seamless transition of activities from response to an emergency to the initial recovery phase, by establishing a transition notice mechanism to ensure that appropriate powers are available for a specific amount of time.
- Creating a permanent legislative authority to assist the Crown in reimbursing local authorities for response and recovery costs, rather than setting the appropriation annually at a fixed amount.
The bill was referred to the committee on 9 February 2016 with submissions closing on 24 March 2016. The committee received 12 submissions.