Legislation for effective post-disaster reconstruction

James Rotimi, Suzanne Wilkinson, Kelvin Zuo and Dean Myburgh

International Journal of Strategic Property Management. 2009. Vol.13 No.2, pp. 143-152


New Zealand is vulnerable to natural disasters. When disasters occur, the effects
can be devastating on the built environment. As one aspect of a major programme of research in New Zealand, the authors address the recovery issue in terms of how legislation either facilitates or hinders reconstruction. The results of a survey to building control offi cers and other disaster practitioners in New Zealand on the application of the Building Act 2004 post-disaster are presented in this paper. There are indications that the New Zealand Building Act 2004 will not be supportive or enabling in post-disaster reconstruction environments, particularly in large-scale disaster events. Key problems found were procedural constraints as a result of high consenting standards and logistic considerations. The desire is to create the best possible conditions that will encourage rapid rebuilding of lives and communities after large-scale disasters in New Zealand and that can only be done within a supportive legislative environment.

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