MPs hope politics put aside in quake discussions

9:46 pm on 30 March 2011

MPs say politics should not get in the way of earthquake recovery when they meet to give advice to the new department.

The stand-alone Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has been given wide powers to relax, suspend or extend laws and regulations in order to help the region recover from recent quakes.

Constituency and list MPs will join one of two forums established to advise it.

Forum member and National MP for Selwyn, Amy Adams, says she hopes politics will be put to one side - because the important thing is to help rebuild Canterbury.

Another member, Labour's earthquake spokesperson and MP for Waimakariri Clayton Cosgrove agrees.

He says Labour is prepared to give the authority a chance but will seek to amend enabling legislation and bring heavy scrutiny.

Mr Cosgrove says the Government will be held to account based on the words of the Prime Minister that no one will be worse off and that Christchurch will be rebuilt better than it was before.

He says however that the forum has already been politicised by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee accusing other parties of holding up progress by raising questions.

Mr Brownlee has not responded to that comment.

And Labour's Christchurch Central Labour MP, Brendon Burns,

says the proposed cross-party forum of local MPs does not give the community real input into decisiomaking.

Mr Burns says good ideas are coming out of Christchurch about the rebuilding process but questions how likely the Government is to listen to them.