A report into how central and local government have performed in rebuilding Canterbury suggests both can learn from looking at how other countries respond to disasters.
The report by Auditor-General Lyn Provost was released on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Henry Broughton says similar recovery authorities were set up after the Victoria bush fires and Queensland floods in Australia.
He says their efforts show that recovering from a natural disaster works best when it is community-led.
Mr Broughton says it also found it is important local authorities have a good involvement in planning because they are the ones that will be around it in the long term.