Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency until 18 April, in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February.
The state of national emergency in New Zealand - that applies specifically to Christchurch City - was declared on 23 February. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a state of national emergency can be declared for a maximum of seven days at a time only.
“Since the state of national emergency was declared, the National Controller has used his authority to stabilise the situation in Christchurch city,” Mr Carter said.
“Work remains focused on residents being adequately housed in safe and warm accommodation, with reliable access to water, functional sewerage disposal, electricity and communications.
“Given the extent of damage to the city, good progress has been made in restoring lifelines and now 99 percent of people outside the Central Business District have power and 100 percent of households outside the Red Zone have running water.
“To put this in context, on 25 February 50,000 people (approximately 20 percent) were without power and between 50 and 60 percent of households had no running water.
“Once the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has been set up there will be a hand-over from the National Controller to that organisation and the state of national emergency can be lifted.”
The authorities – and the relevant section of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 – that have been used by the National Controller during the state of national emergency include:
- Issuing statements concerning the emergency [CDEMA s74] Accommodation, feeding and care for displaced people [CDEMA s9(2)(a)]
- Entering premises to rescue people or ensure no one was trapped [CDEMA s87]
- Provision of air transport out of Christchurch using New Zealand * * Defence Force aircraft [CDEMA s9(2)(a)(i)]
- Cordoning, evacuating and restricting access to the CBD and other areas [CDEMA s86 & s88]
- Demolition of unsafe structures [CDEMA s85(1)] Emergency works to dump earthquake rubble at Lyttleton [CDEMA s111 & RMA s330B]
- Emergency works to discharge untreated sewerage into rivers, estuaries and the sea [CDEMA s111 & RMA s330B] Emergency works including dumping of debris at Burwood [CDEMA s85(1) &s111 & RMA s330B]
- Emergency works to erect substations and over-ground power lines in the Eastern suburbs [CDEMA s111 & RMA s330B]
- Giving directions to people to stop activities that might cause or substantially contribute to the emergency and requesting people take action to prevent or limit the extent of the emergency [CDEMA s91]
- Carrying out inspections, which may include marking, seizing, sampling, securing, disinfecting or destroying any property, animal or any other thing in order to prevent or limit the extent of the emergency [CDEMA s92].