2 Sep 2014

National would make changes to CERA

5:52 pm on 2 September 2014

Prime Minister John Key has announced the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority will be merged into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, if a National government was re-elected.

John Key.

John Key. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Key said change was to maintain the momentum in the Canterbury rebuild and place the disaster recovery work at the core of central government planning. The new arrangement would be in place by next February.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said this did not represent a winding down of the recovery efforts, but a recognition the recovery programme is well underway.

However, Labour dismissed the plan saying it wouldn't help with the recovery.

"It doesn't build one extra house, doesn't repair one extra house, and doesn't kick-start the recovery, " Labour's Clayton Cosgrove said.

The CERA legislation would also be reviewed, resulting in some of the authority's powers being scaled back and the extension of any others where required.

CERA and its enabling legislation were established in 2011 with a limited lifespan, with the Act expiring in 2016.

The chief executive of CERA would remain in place, as would the organisation's current budget.

Mr Key also talked about the future of Environment Canterbury, saying a National government would look towards the transition of the regional council after the election, before the term of the appointed commissioners expired in October 2016.

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