Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010

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Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand Parliament
Royal assent 14 September 2010
Commenced15 September 2010
Administered byMinistry of Economic Development
Introduced by Hon. Gerry Brownlee
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011
Status: Repealed

The Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010 was a New Zealand statute designed to assist reconstruction after the 2010 Canterbury earthquake. It expired in April 2012.


The Act permitted Government ministers to suspend or make exemptions to almost any New Zealand law by Orders in Council, transferring vast lawmaking power from the legislature to the government executive. [1] It passed with unanimous support from all political parties in Parliament, although two of the smaller parties expressed concern over the wide powers it gave ministers. [2] The Act attracted criticism from New Zealand and international academics specialising in constitutional law who claim that it lacks constitutional safeguards and has set a dangerous precedent for future natural disasters. [1] The group of 27 legal academics expressed their concerns in an open letter released on 28 September 2010. [3] [4]

The New Zealand Law Society also expressed concern and suggested Parliament amend the law to ensure the vast powers it confers are not abused. Spokesman Mr Temm said the powers delegated to Ministers “are potentially at odds with maintenance of the principles of the rule of law”. [5]

The Act was repealed on 19 April 2011, when it was replaced with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.

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  1. 1 2 "Academics call for rethink over earthquake law". The Press . Fairfax New Zealand. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  2. Bennett, Adam (15 September 2010). "Concerns over power new bill gives ministers". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  3. "Legal Scholars: Deep Canterbury Quake Law Concerns". Scoop . 28 September 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  4. Andrea Vance (29 September 2010). "Quake law dangerous, lawyers say". The Press. Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  5. "Law Society comments on Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act". New Zealand Law Society. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 13 October 2010.