News | 7 December 2016

Wellington Mayor granted transitionary powers to respond to earthquake

Mayor Justin Lester has today been given the ability to give notice of a statutory ‘local transition period’ for Wellington that gives Wellington City Council Recovery Manager powers to compel building owners to share the results of building inspections with the Council.

Approval for the transition period has been given by Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee under s94(B)(2) of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002.

“This transition period gives the City Council Recovery Manager the legal power, if necessary, to compel building owners to obtain assessments of their buildings and provide the results,” says Mayor Lester.

“Wellingtonians need to know that their city is safe. This transition period will help us ensure that we understand the current state of buildings and get a clearer picture of the state of buildings following any major aftershocks.”

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, councils can appoint recovery managers with special powers to oversee a city’s recovery from an emergency. Now ministerial approval has been given, Wellington’s Recovery Manager, Mike Mendonca, will soon have these powers to apply to the recovery process now under way in Wellington.

Mayor Lester says: “Mike is a highly-experienced Recovery Manager, and our application was about making sure he is given all possible legal authority to keep Wellingtonians safe, and ensure our city’s recovery runs smoothly and efficiently.

“This is just one of a range of steps we are taking to ensure our city is responding to the effects of the recent earthquakes. We are also working closely with the Government to identify major resilience projects that can be brought forward to help us get ready.”