Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 was enacted following the earthquake on 22 February 2011. The purposes of the Act are:

  • to provide appropriate measures to ensure that greater Christchurch and the councils and their communities respond to, and recover from, the impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes
  • to enable community participation in the planning of the recovery of affected communities without impeding a focused, timely, and expedited recovery
  • to provide for the Minister and CERA to ensure that recovery
  • to enable a focused, timely, and expedited recovery
  • to enable information to be gathered about any land, structure, or infrastructure affected by the Canterbury earthquakes
  • to facilitate, co-ordinate, and direct the planning, rebuilding, and recovery of affected communities, including the repair and rebuilding of land, infrastructure, and other property
  • to restore the social, economic, cultural, and environmental well-being of greater Christchurch communities

The Act requires the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to develop a Recovery Strategy and local authorities and community organisations to develop Recovery Plans. The Recovery Strategy is a long-term wide-ranging strategy for the recovery of greater Christchurch whereas Recovery Plans are more specific and limited to particular areas or community issues.

The Act establishes two forums to advise the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery. The Community Forum includes twenty leaders from greater Christchurch and the Cross-Party Forum includes all MPs from Christchurch.

The Act grants CERA’s chief executive wide ranging authority include authority to:

  • Require councils to act as directed, and or to provide information on request
  • Amend or revoke RMA documents and city plans
  • Close or otherwise restrict access to roads and other geographical areas
  • Demolish buildings, or otherwise enter and deal with people's land and property (with notice, in the case of Marae and dwellinghouses)
  • Require compliance of any person with a direction made under the Act.

The Act allows Order in Council to be made where necessary or expedient to achieve the purposes of the Act. This allows a number of enactments to be varied, including the Resource Management Act 1991. A number of Orders in Council have been made.

Last updated at 11:20AM on March 6, 2015