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Cabinet approves earthquake relocation plan

Cabinet approves earthquake relocation plan

Cabinet has approved the Emergency Relocation of Executive Government and Parliament Plan, Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.

The plan outlines the temporary relocation of Executive Government and Parliament to Devonport Naval Base in Auckland under a worst-case scenario, where the impact of a major earthquake in Wellington was so severe that Executive Government and Parliament could not function effectively in Wellington.

“A decision to relocate would be made as a last resort,” Ms Kaye says.

The plan covers the first 14 days following a decision by the Prime Minister to relocate. It identifies triggers that may influence the decision to relocate, and designates roles and responsibilities for government agencies, Members of Parliament, and essential staff to support the functioning of Executive Government and Parliament sitting.

“Cabinet endorsed a high-level concept for an emergency relocation plan earlier this year,” Ms Kaye says.

“The concept and draft plan were tested in April and May through a series of workshops involving officials and Ministers.”

The final plan incorporates key recommendations from the exercise: that the last-resort nature of the plan be given greater emphasis; that provision be made for executive government to operate from different locations whereby selected Ministers may remain in Wellington following the relocation of other Ministers; and that Public Information Management personnel be among the essential staff.

The next steps are to embed the relocation plan into business continuity planning across government, Ms Kaye says, along with informing Members of Parliament and essential staff of their roles and responsibilities.

The plan will be maintained by Parliamentary Service and reviewed every five years.


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