Constitutional Red Tape: Assessing New Zealand’s Legislative Response to the Kaikōura Earthquake

52 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2018 Last revised: 22 May 2018

See all articles by Ruby King

Ruby King

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: April 3, 2018

Abstract

This paper examines Parliament’s recent legislative response to the 2016 Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquake. More specifically, it focuses on the delegated legislation making power granted to the executive in the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Act 2016. It assesses the 2016 legislation against the background of the Canterbury earthquake legislation and the criticism that such legislation engendered. This paper addresses three key questions. Firstly, can the criticism directed at the Canterbury legislation be transferred to the Kaikōura legislation. In other words, is the Kaikōura legislation still constitutionally repugnant, and if so, to what degree. Secondly, is such constitutional repugnance able to be justified by the unique and disastrous circumstances. Finally, it asks what more can be done to bring the legislation more into line with fundamental principles, and enable it to be justified. This paper concludes the following. Firstly, the Kaikōura legislation proves to be a significant step forward, but there are aspects that are at odds with fundamental principles. Secondly, such inconsistencies cannot be justified. Finally, this paper makes suggestions for possible reform that still appreciates the Government’s concern.

Keywords: Emergency legislation, Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Act 2016, earthquake response, earthquake recovery, Kaikōura earthquake, Henry VIII provisions

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

King, Ruby, Constitutional Red Tape: Assessing New Zealand’s Legislative Response to the Kaikōura Earthquake (April 3, 2018). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 16/2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3154970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3154970

Ruby King (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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