Apart from Acts of Parliament, Orders in Council are the main method the Government uses to put into action decisions that need legal force.
They are undertaken by the Executive Council.
Many Orders in Council were put in place in response to the Canterbury earthquakes, to provide special emergency powers and to provide speed, certainty and help with the recovery and rebuild.
The Orders were made through the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010 and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery (CER) Act 2011. Most Orders expired or lapsed with the expiry of the CER Act in 2016.
However, some Orders that related to work that was still ongoing were continued through the Greater Christchurch Regeneration (GCR) Act 2016. Those Orders will expire at the expiry of the GCR Act on 30 June 2021, unless revoked earlier.
The Canterbury Earthquake (Christchurch Replacement District Plan) Order 2014 revocation
Before the earthquakes, the Christchurch City Council had begun a review of the planning rules contained in both the Christchurch District Plan and Banks Peninsula District Plan.
Following the Canterbury earthquakes, the Council requested the Government put in place a process to fast track the review and enable the development of a comprehensive single replacement district plan for Christchurch.
The Canterbury Earthquake (Christchurch Replacement District Plan) Order 2014 (the Order) was put in place in response to that request, under the provisions of the CER Act. Because the review had not been completed at the time the CER Act expired, the Order continued through the provisions of the GCR Act.
What did the Order do?
It set out a faster, more streamlined process for drafting, hearing submissions and making decisions on the replacement Christchurch District Plan (compared to the normal Schedule 1 process under the Resource Management Act 1991).
Revocation of the Order
The District Plan review process was completed and the Christchurch District Plan came into use in December 2017.
In early 2018, the Christchurch City Council requested the Government revoke the Order early.
The Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Dr Megan Woods went to Cabinet and the Executive Council on 18 February 2019 seeking agreement to the revocation. It was agreed and on 19 February 2019 it was announced that the Order had been revoked.
What does the revocation of the Order mean?
With the Order revoked, the Council will fully administer and manage its own District Plan.
Changes to the District Plan can be made in accordance with the normal Resource Management Act 1991 plan change process.
The Council and private parties can propose and undertake plan changes to the District Plan. People can submit on proposed changes, attend hearings and participate in appeals on decisions.
The revocation of the Order is a significant milestone in the regeneration of the city and for the transition back to full local leadership.
It supports the return to a business-as-usual relationship between the Christchurch City Council and the Crown, and is another step towards reducing the Crown’s extraordinary role and responsibilities in Christchurch.