15 Sep 2010

Quake law described as unprecedented

6:03 am on 15 September 2010

Parliament united on Tuesday night to pass legislation described as unprecedented in New Zealand's political history.

The legislation allows Government ministers to make exemptions to, or suspend, almost every law on the statute books, in order to fast track recovery from the earthquake in Canterbury.

However, Opposition parties voiced concerns about the exceptional powers the law confers on Government ministers and sought reassurances it would not be abused.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee told Parliament the purpose of the law is clear and no minister intends to use the law for any reason other than helping to rebuild Canterbury.

He said any action taken under the new law will be well publicised.