An Order in Council signed 20 December will accelerate the reinstatement of State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura, ensuring work to restore the coastal road and rail route can progress in a timely fashion.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the government was focused on reconnecting the communities of Kaikoura and the region as quickly as possible.
“The progress already being made can be accelerated further by recognising this as an emergency situation, and by cutting through red tape,” he says.
The agencies responsible for the rebuild, as outlined in the Order, are the NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail. The Order will modify provisions of the Resource Management Act and nine other pieces of legislation, to streamline the recovery work.
Bridges said that lessons learned from the 2011 Canterbury earthquake showed that the simplest and most efficient way of getting work done in a major event like that was to remove legislative barriers while giving due consideration to environmental, ecological and cultural impacts.
Under the conditions set out in the Order, the NZTA will establish a restoration liaison group, with representatives from relevant councils and iwi. This will ensure environmental, ecological and cultural issues are appropriately addressed during the rebuild.
The Hurunui-Kaikoura Earthquakes Recovery Order has been made under the Hurunui-Kaikoura Earthquakes Recovery Act. It will take effect immediately and expire on 30 March 2018.