Being Prepared for an Emergency Works Situation Under s330 of the RMA

Any authorised person should, as part of their internal risk management, business continuity and asset management programmes, as far as practicable take the following actions:

  1. identify the potential for incidents that could require emergency works. This may be in general terms only, or relate to known trouble spots. For example, those sections of roads that are particularly prone to slips, or bridge abutments and the banks of rivers that are undercut by regular flooding

  2. check contractual arrangements, and seek legal advice if in doubt, on when a contractor may act on behalf of the person or body authorised to carry out emergency works under s330. Ensure that contractors understand the procedures that must be followed and have any delegations or warrants required to enable them to act quickly in an emergency situation

  3. discuss with the consent authority the form and extent of any anticipated emergency event and adverse effects, and the emergency works that may be necessary to respond to them

  4. seek advice and, if appropriate, gain some form of agreement on best practicable remedial or mitigation options, and guidelines or procedures to follow, that will assist decision-making and actions when working under emergency conditions

  5. seek consent in advance to cover emergency situations where the effects and actions to address them can be anticipated with some certainty, for example establishing spoil disposal sites near known slip hazard zones.

Authorised persons should consider forming a work group involving all relevant consent authorities and other interested parties, for the purpose of agreeing on common guidelines. For example, an emergency works protocol on slip debris clearance practices for all road operators and their contractors within a district or region could be established.

In developing any emergency response plan, network utility operators and persons with responsibility for public works should consult with consent authorities as they may be able to advise on:

  • the potential effects of proposed emergency works

  • the relative impact of these effects compared with the adverse effects of the emergency

  • whether a resource consent is ordinarily required and the types of conditions attached

  • other options for emergency works

  • the potential for, and nature of, adverse effects for different emergency situations

  • suitable emergency works practices, such as silt debris removal and dumping.

The consent authority's advice may enable an operator to pre-plan some of their decision-making processes and response actions. An added advantage is that acquiring any subsequent resource consents or undertaking additional post-emergency works could be easier.