On Tuesday, Parliament unanimously passed the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act, giving Minister for Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee absolute dictatorial power to change any law he wants. Brownlee is one of the last Ministers I'd trust with such power, and he's already committed his first abuse, in the form of the Canterbury Earthquake (Local Government Act 2002) Order 2010. The order exempts the Canterbury Regional Council, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, and Waimakariri District Council from the decision-making and consultation provisions of the Local Government Act - which means they don't have to identify alternatives and weigh costs, benefits and impacts, or consider whether a decision is inconsistent with their long-term plans, or consult the community. They can just make a decision and bulldoze it through. Bob Parker must be creaming his pants.