A local authority may:
transfer functions, powers and duties to another public authority under s33 of the RMA and
delegate functions, powers and duties to employees under s34A of the RMA.
Under Part 4 of the RMA, the Minister of Conservation is provided with certain powers of local authorities. In certain cases, these may provide for the transfer and delegations of functions, powers and duties under ss33 and 34A of the RMA.
When delegating any s330 powers to employees, a local authority should both:
ensure that staff who will be required to form an opinion about whether to undertake emergency works have clear authorisation and that necessary delegations are in place beforehand; and
set in place procedures whereby staff who may identify and fix emergency related problems, but are not otherwise directly responsible for them, understand the need for clear instruction from an authorised person.
Although there are no specific provisions in the RMA for network utility, lifeline utility, and public works operators to delegate any functions or powers to other persons or bodies, s330 of the RMA contemplates that persons may act on behalf of those bodies.
To ensure the provisions are being used appropriately network utility operators, lifeline utilities, and persons with financial responsibility for public works, should check and, as necessary, seek legal advice as to whether other parties may be authorised to undertake emergency works on their behalf.