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Canterbury Earthquake Response

In the aftermath of the recent Canterbury earthquakes the Treasury supported an effective all-of-government response involving many other departments and agencies across the public sector. Throughout this process, the Treasury sought to ensure that advice was well-coordinated, guided by a coherent framework and included solid assessment of emerging risks, including to the Crown's fiscal position.

The Treasury has:

  • reported on the fiscal and economic implications of the earthquakes, advising on the Government's response to the Canterbury earthquakes. Working closely with CERA, we advised on fiscal implications, land remediation, insurance, business recovery and regulatory and other issues
  • provided advice on the fiscal management of earthquake-related expenditure including utilising, for the first time, the emergency expenditure provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989, and the management of infrastructure expenditure
  • advised on the financial market implications of the earthquakes, in particular insurance markets
  • worked with CERA, the Christchurch City Council and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) on the sharing of costs of rebuilding infrastructure between central and local government
  • advised on the capital structure of EQC and the implications of payouts for the Natural Disaster Fund. This included implications of the EQC Act 1993 in respect of the specific events in Canterbury and the new functions that EQC took on
  • working with SSC, advised on the establishment and funding of CERA, and
  • advised on the Government's response to requests for financial assistance from the local government insurance sector.

The demands of this work had a material impact on the Treasury's work programme, delaying or scaling back some lower-priority work.

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