Earthquake Recovery Commissioners

( Earthquake recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced members of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Commission.

The commission’s establishment was a requirement of the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010, which was passed with unanimous support through Parliament on September 14.

Its primary roles are to provide advice to relevant Ministers on how resources may be prioritised and funding allocated for the response to the Canterbury earthquake; and to provide a central contact point between central and local government in the management of the response effort.

The seven member commission will include the mayors of the Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts elected after the 9 October local body elections, a representative of Environment Canterbury, Dame Margaret Bazely, and it will be chaired by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Director General Murray Sherwin.

Also joining Mr Sherwin and Dame Margaret will be earthquake engineer David Hopkins and one other appointee, who will be confirmed shortly.

Mr Brownlee said he was confident the commission would have the right mix of experience to oversee the swift and comprehensive re-building of areas affected by the September 4 earthquake.

“I would like to welcome and thank the commissioners in advance for their service in providing a vital link between the Canterbury region and central government as we manage this major recovery effort,” Mr Brownlee said.


Murray Sherwin (Chair) has been Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry since 2001. He was formerly the Deputy Governor and Deputy Chief Executive of the Reserve Bank, and while at the Reserve Bank was seconded to roles at the World Bank and the OECD.

Dame Margaret Bazely has served in numerous senior roles in the public service, leading organisations including the Department of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Transport. She has extensive experiences as a commissioner, including as the Commissioner for the Inquiry into Police Conduct. Dame Margaret was made a Dame Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit in1999 for her contribution to the New Zealand public service. She is presently chair of Environment Canterbury.

David Hopkins is a New Zealand earthquake engineer and a life member of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering. Internationally, he has been at the forefront of learning from earthquakes, and assessing and improving the structural performance of earthquake risk buildings. He has led reconnaissance missions after major earthquakes in the Philippines and Peru, and is a Director of the World Seismic Safety Initiative.

Media Release 24 September from Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Earthquake Recovery.