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Report on response to emergencies released

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/12/2016

A cross-party committee of MPs has finished an inquiry that started in 2014 and released a set of recommendations on the way parliament should respond to national emergencies.

It concluded emergency legislation, such as the bills now going through parliament to deal with the Kaikoura earthquake, should be specific to events, and generic national emergency laws shouldn't be passed in advance.

Emergency powers should be in force only for as long as they're needed, and should have built-in sunset provisions - a date on which they expire.

The right to seek judicial reviews of emergency orders issued by governments should be preserved and upheld.

Other recommendations include:

* Legislation for national emergencies should follow international benchmarks

* Emergency orders issued by governments should be scrutinised before and after they're made

* Ministers should report annually to parliament on the exercise of powers under emergency legislation.

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