Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency until 24 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.
“Now that the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has been set up, the National Controller is preparing to hand over to that organisation,” Mr Carter said.
“However, it is important to have someone in charge of the ongoing work of stabilising the situation in Christchurch city. So that there is no void in authority, the state of national emergency will remain in place.
“While considerable progress has been made on this front, there are still cordons in place and there is still a need for the authority the National Controller has.”