The Government is planning changes to the Canterbury
Earthquake Recovery Authority if it is re-elected on
Prime Minister John Key announced in Christchurch yesterday
Cera would become an agency within the Department of Prime
Minister and Cabinet from February 1, next year.
Cera would remain the face of the Government's recovery
effort in Christchurch.
''But housing Cera within the department enables its
functions to be wound back gradually - rather than seeing its
role come to an abrupt end.
''The department already housed the Ministry of Civil Defence
and Emergency Management, he said.
''We are keen Cera and the ministry work closely together so
the lessons learnt from both the initial response and the
recovery phases of the Canterbury earthquakes are adopted
permanently and shared widely.''
Hosting Cera and the ministry together within the department
would ensure that happened, Mr Key said.
Cera head Roger Sutton would remain chief executive but would
join a team of senior state officials who would develop a
plan for transition.
The plan would include an analysis of the need for powers
granted under the Cera Act to endure beyond 2016 and a plan
for the handover of programmes to either government agencies
or local government.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 was due to expire
by April 2016. There would be some functions in the law which
might need to continue.
Many of the provisions were still used regularly and were
required to ensure the recovery work was effective, Mr Key
An advisory group would be established to help the Earthquake
Recovery Minister and the transition team on appropriate
transfers of responsibilities and a timeline for doing so.
The minister would refer other matters to the advisory group
The advisory group, expected to be appointed later this year,
would include representatives from local councils, ECan, Ngai
Tahu and other stakeholders yet to be determined, he said.
''In advancing these arrangements, we want to give
reassurance to the people of Canterbury that in no way are we
lessening our commitment to the rebuild and recovery.''
In a separate statement, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry
Brownlee said a re-elected National government would continue
to ramp up construction in the central city, led by anchor
projects such as the Convention Centre Precinct, Justice and
Emergency Services Precinct and the bus interchange.
Investment in those and other projects was already
encouraging businesses and retailers to return to the city,
Mr Key also touched on the future of ECan, which had
commissioners installed by the Government after becoming a
The commissioners were set to end their term at a single
point in October 2016, before local body elections were held.
If that happened too abruptly, there were risks of a lack of
continuity and the region could go backwards.
Immediately after the September 20 election, Mr Key planned
to release a consultation document on ECan's future.
''We are committed to seeing elections happen. However, we
need to ensure the gains made by the commissioners are not
The options would propose for consultations ranging from a
fully elected governing body to a mixed model of elected and
appointed members, he said.
At a glance
•Cera to become part of Department of Prime Minister and
Cabinet on February 1, 2015
•Cera chief executive Roger Sutton will remain
•An advisory group to be named later this year
•Options for ECan to be released after election