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Severe Weather Emergency Legislation Act 2023: Part 2

Severe Weather Emergency Legislation Act 2023: Part 2

Severe Weather Emergency Legislation Act 2023: Part 2

Monday 27 March, 2023

We have previously described amendments to the emergency works provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991 – click here to view.

But the Severe Weather Emergency Legislation Act (the Act) also amends other legislation including the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 (CDEMA) and the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA).


For the period commencing on 20 March 2023 until the close of 1 June 2024 new Schedule 3 applies to the functions of Group Controllers and Recovery Managers, declarations of state of emergency, and transition periods. These temporary provisions are intended to assist recovery and improve resilience in response to recent severe weather events. While in force they replace the equivalent provisions in the CDEMA.

The Act addresses the areas of overlap between declarations of a state of national emergency and a state of local emergency and transition periods, and the related powers of Group Controllers and Recovery Managers. It provides for concurrent declarations of states of emergency and notices of transition periods to ensure emergency powers are available when needed.


Amendments to the LGA affect long-term planning and remote meeting attendance.

Long-term planning

Clause 27 of Schedule 1AA LGA requires long-term planning to exclude water services during the establishment period for water services entities being the period up to 1 July 2024. It is amended by the Act to apply to long-term planning only for plans that take effect “in any period on or after 1 July 2024” and will no longer apply to any amendment to a long-term plan. This amendment to the LGA enables local authorities to amend existing long-term plans to include matters relating to water services in order to respond to damage to water services infrastructure caused by recent severe weather events.

Remote meeting attendance

Members may attend a council or committee meeting by audio- or audio-visual link at present only if permitted to do so by the standing orders of the local authority. However, a person who is not physically present is not counted for the purpose of a quorum. The Act modifies these provisions so that during the period 12 February 2023 to 1 April 2024 a member my attend any council or committee meeting by audio- or audio-visual link regardless of whether there is any provision to do so in standing orders, or of any limitation or condition on the use of such links in standing orders. A member attending by such a link will be counted as present for the purpose of forming a quorum.

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