The Government is already drafting legislation which will give it sweeping powers to over-rule local Councils and District plans in the earthquake affected North Canterbury and Hurunui districts.
POLITIK understands it is proposing to attach the new legislation to an already existing piece of legislation going through the House, the Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Bill.
The new draft is being co-ordinated by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and will be modelled on the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act.
But the fact that the powers are to be added to a permanent piece of legislation suggests they may stay on the books able to be activated for future crises.
Wait for the wailing and gnashing of Labour and Green teeth; the cries of overreach and abuse of power.
Both Bridges and Smith are hinting that the replacement of the state highway and railway will not happen quickly.
Even the suggestion from some Ministers that it could be “months” away may be optimistic.
In Parliament, Bridges suggested that time-critical freight would need to travel by road to the South Island leaving open the option of using coastal shipping for less time-critical freight.
A contributor, who blogger Cameron Salter said runs a major trucking company, wrote on the Whaleoil blog that the trip from Picton to Christchurch via State Highway Seven was 30% longer than the coastal route which has been destroyed by the earthquake.
“ For us today a run from Christchurch to Picton took us just on 12 hours (including deliveries).
“Under the old State Highway One rules it would have taken five hours one way, six back and a full round trip would have been completed.
“So far we have only done half of the trip, and our driver is staying in Picton overnight.
“That equates to a 50% productivity loss in simple terms.”
I really need to track down that Cameron Salter. This isn’t the first time he’s been quoted by Richard Harman.
– Richard Harman, Politik