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Friday 24 Mar - 9:09 pm


About the Ministry

Who we are and what we do

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is a business unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

What we do

At the national level, the Ministry provides policy advice to government, supports CDEM planning and operations, ensures there is coordination at local, regional and national levels, and manages the central government response for large scale civil defence emergencies that are beyond the capacity of local authorities.

The Ministry’s work – the four “R’s”

The Ministry leads the way in making New Zealand and its communities resilient to hazards and disasters. The overarching strategy is through a risk management approach to the four "Rs" of:

  • Reduction
  • Readiness
  • Response
  • Recovery

This approach starts with recognising the hazards we face and the vulnerability of our communities and infrastructure to those hazards. By addressing what these hazards could do to us, the focus can move to measures for reducing the risks and for managing the impacts when they occur.

The Ministry aims to put the right tools, knowledge and skills in the hands of those who will be responsible for designing and implementing solutions at the local level. It does this by working closely with local government, utilities and the emergency services involved in civil defence emergency management.

Our Vision

Resilient New Zealand – Communities understanding and managing their hazards


Ministry organisation chart

Ministry organisation chart 2 February 2017 (.pdf 303kb)

Business units

Analysis & Planning Unit

The Analysis & Planning Unit is responsible for the research and development of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) concepts across hazard risk management, readiness, response and recovery. Tasks include coordinating science advice and the application of research, national planning, the development of guidance and doctrine and international engagement. The Unit also has responsibility to manage relationships with partner Departments and agencies at the national level.

Development Unit

The Development Unit is responsible for engagement and liaison with CDEM Groups and local authorities on their statutory responsibility for delivering all aspects of CDEM to their communities. The unit is responsible for assisting CDEM Groups to implement national guidance and plans in the region, monitor and report CDEM Group performance and development including implementing the evaluation process, assisting CDEM Groups to enhance capability development and managing the resilience fund process.

Capability & Operations Unit

The Capability & Operations Unit has two principal functions: CDEM capability development and National CDEM operational readiness and systems. CDEM Capability responsibilities include the analysis, development and implementation of measures to support the availability of the requisite range of high quality educational opportunities for CDEM stakeholders. National CDEM operational readiness responsibilities include the management of the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) and its systems, processes and staffing, hosting of the CDEM Emergency Management Information System (EMIS), management of the National Warning System and the National Exercise Programme. The Unit also has responsibility to manage relationships with partner Departments and agencies at the national level.

Strategic Business Plan

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management's strategic business plan outlines the strategic directions. Within the plan are the goals and objectives the Ministry has identified as necessary to achieve the plan.

2016-2020 business plan (.pdf 1.3mb)

2015-2019 business plan (.pdf 960 KB)

2014 strategic business plan (.pdf 681kb)

2013 strategic business plan (.pdf 391kb)

2012 strategic business plan (.pdf 659kb)

2011 strategic business plan (.pdf 600kb)

2010 strategic business plan (.pdf 700kb)

2009 strategic business plan (.pdf 550kb)

Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Civil Defence

The Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Civil Defence gives an overview of the Civil Defence portfolio and identifies some of the more significant issues and opportunities.

Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Civil Defence December 2016 (.pdf 954kb)

Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Civil Defence October 2014 (.pdf 832kb)