Improving environmental management legislation to facilitate post-disaster reconstruction.
Purpose The study explores improvements to environmental management legislation that will enable the implementation of post disaster reconstruction activities after the built environment has been affected by a natural disaster. Design The study programme collates opinions from building and development control officers and other disaster practitioners based in New Zealand. The objective was to determine the practical implication of implementing reconstruction arrangements under the RMA. The survey was administered online, and a data set of 80 responses was used for the analyses. Findings The survey results show that current reconstruction framework in New Zealand may cause procedural constraints and become burdensome to property owners who desire early recovery from a disaster event. Therefore improvements are suggested to certain aspects of the RMA reconstruction provisions, so that it facilitates early recovery from natural disasters. Originality/value The paper is one aspect of a doctoral study that reviewed the implications of implementing reconstruction under existing legislative framework. It highlights the need for improvements to environmental management legislation to enable effective reconstruction after natural disasters in New Zealand. These have wider implications to other countries to revise their legislation before any disaster, thus reducing the problems that may be experienced while implementing environmental and developmental legislation.