A new Act to focus on recovery and regeneration is proposed to
replace the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 (CER
Act), when it expires on 18 April 2016. The Bill will
continue some of the Government's powers, but also keep various
The Christchurch earthquakes have caused major ructions in the
legal landscape, not only in the physical world and in people's
lives. There have been two special statutes enacted, a new
government department created and then absorbed into DPMC, and
major judicial review and other cases.
The earthquakes have caused a re-think about the role of
legislation, and broader powers for Government to intrude into the
lives of communities and people than is normally tolerated.
A Parliamentary Select Committee is also now reviewing
Parliament's legislative response to future national
Draft Transition Plan and the Bill
The proposals in the Draft Transition Plan and for the Greater
Christchurch Regeneration Bill are the most recent changes. The
proposals arise from the report of the Advisory Board on
Transition. The Board was tasked to advise on the implications of
the expiry of the CER Act and the transfer of functions undertaken
by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
(CERA) to more permanent agencies and
The Government proposes that many of CERA's functions go to
councils or Ngai Tahu over time. Some will no longer be needed,
such as directive powers over councils, and will expire.
Some coercive powers, however, are still likely needed. The
Government proposes that these include powers for the Crown to
acquire and deal with land and undertake demolitions. Continuing
public safety powers are also proposed.
Safeguards on government power
Safeguards will also continue, such as requirements to consult
of regeneration plans (the replacement to recovery plans), appeal
rights (with some modifications), and requirements for stakeholder
Government action will also only be permitted where it is
reasonably considered necessary, the test that currently applies
and which has been important in some judicial review cases.
An additional limitation is that the Bill will focus on a much
smaller area than the CERA Act. It is intended to apply only to
Christchurch City and its urban satellites and some adjacent costal
marine areas. In contrast the CER Act applies to the Greater
Christchurch area, extending into the Selwyn and Waimakairiri
Districts, and Banks Peninsula.
The Government's intention is also that leadership,
governance and coordination of the recovery devolve to local
institutions. In addition, a new entity, possibly called Regenerate
Christchurch, may be established to drive regeneration of the
central city. This entity is likely to be jointly established by
the Government and Christchurch City Council.
The Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill, if passed, is likely
to apply for a period of 5 years.
As consultation proceeds, it will be interesting to see the
reaction from communities, organisations and people in Christchurch
as to whether they see the powers in the Bill are necessary, and
whether the proposed safeguards are sufficient.
Submissions on the Draft Transition Plan are due by Thursday 30
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Please briefly describe the main laws that govern real estate in your jurisdiction.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).