Govt contemplates permanent natural disaster law

6:31 pm on 27 September 2010

The Government is considering introducing a law to cover any natural disaster of a similar scale to the Canterbury earthquake.

While the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act has been criticised for overriding existing laws, Civil Defence Minister John Carter says it's already proving its worth.

And Mr Carter says the Government is considering whether new legislation is needed to deal with disasters, rather than having to rush through emergency laws, as has happened after the earthquake.

The Labour Party's earthquake response spokesperson, Clayton Cosgrove, says Parliament would need to think carefully before putting a permanent law into place.

Mr Cosgrove says, however, that he's not totally opposed to the idea - it would at least give Parliament and the public the chance to properly debate it.