Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

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Canterbury Earthquake
Recovery Authority
Te Mana Haumanu ki Waitaha
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority logo.jpg
Agency overview
Formed 2011
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Headquarters Level 8, HSBC House,
62 Worcester Blvd,
Annual budget Vote Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Total budget for 2015/16
Ministers responsible
Agency executive
  • John Ombler,
    Acting Chief Executive

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) (Māori: Te Mana Haumanu ki Waitaha) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with coordinating the rebuild of Christchurch and the surrounding areas following the 22 February 2011 earthquake.


CERA was formed in response to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, and its establishment was announced late March 2011. It has wide-ranging powers and can suspend laws and regulations for the purpose of earthquake recovery.[2] The department is expected to operate for five years, with annual reviews.[3]

CERA's former CEO Roger Sutton commenced on 13 June 2011.[4] He was previously CEO of Orion New Zealand, the electricity distribution company for the Christchurch area. Sutton resigned as CEO on 17 November 2014 effective on 31 January 2015 when CERA is downgraded from a public service department to a departmental agency within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.[5] John Ombler, CERA's establishment CEO was appointed on 19 November 2014 effective on 1 December to be Acting CEO until a permanent Chief Executive is named.[6][7] CERA has received criticism for paying panel members $1000 per day,[8] approximately 10 times the national average.[9]

CERA's powers were challenged in the High Court after it ordered the demolition of Wharetiki House at 854 Colombo Street. The owner of the house wanted to restore it after it had suffered damage in the February 2011 earthquake. Justice Whata dismissed the challenge on 20 June 2011, and the building was demolished the following day.[10]

As of October 2011, CERA hoped to have all of the Christchurch Central City open again in April 2012.[11]

In April 2012 the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) was established as a unit within CERA to focus on rebuilding the central business district of Christchurch.[12]

A public consultation on the organisation's transport plan closed on 1 February 2013.[13] As of October 2013, Cabinet had not signed off on the plan.


  1. ^ "Total Appropriations for Each Vote". Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "New authority will deliver for Canterbury" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Martin Kay and John Hartevelt (29 March 2011). "Five-year quake rebuild task". Stuff (Fairfax). Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Roger Sutton appointed quake recovery czar". Stuff. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  5. ^ " - Statement on the resignation of Roger Sutton". Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  6. ^ " - Minister welcomes appointment of John Ombler". Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Acting CERA boss appointed, Sutton sent home". The National Business Review. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Williams, David (20 August 2011). "'Outrage' over $1000 a day pay for panel". The Press. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "New Zealand Income Survey: June 2011 quarter". Statistics New Zealand. 6 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Heather, Ben (27 July 2011). "Bid to save historic house fails". The Press. p. A12. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Heather, Ben (15 October 2011). "City Mall opening may be delayed". The Press. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "New unit for the rebuild of central Christchurch" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Chch residents urged to contribute to plan". 3 News NZ. 24 January 2013. 

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