Current Emergency

See more details

Emergency Mobile Alert

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) is leading the implementation of a new nationwide emergency alert channel. Emergency Mobile Alerts are due to be available by the end of 2017.

Emergency Mobile Alert testing

Testing of the Emergency Mobile Alert system is being conducted from Monday 16 October to Friday 20 October between 9am and 4pm. It is possible that some people may receive test messages on their phones if they are close to one of the test locations.

Emergency Mobile Alert test locations:


  • Mt Smart Stadium
  • France Street South


  • Petone
  • Featherston Street 

4 October 2017 - Emergency Mobile Alert test

We apologise to those who have received test emergency alerts in the early hours of 4 October 2017. The three test messages were sent in error by our European-based service provider while testing the new Emergency Mobile Alert technology.

Although the messages were only sent to Vodafone customers on 4G, the error was not Vodafone’s. We take full responsibility and are working with our European-based service provider to ensure this mistake does not happen again.

Some Vodafone customers may not have received the accidental test message. In the first instance, please check your phone is Emergency Mobile Alert capable and up to date. Other possible reasons for not receiving the alert may include your phone being off, on flight mode or out of cellular coverage.

We apologise again to all those affected and will ensure all future testing is carried out during daylight hours.

What are Emergency Mobile Alerts?

Emergency Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to mobile phones enabled to receive Emergency Mobile Alerts. They can be targeted to areas affected by serious hazards.

If your phone is on, capable and inside the targeted area, you should get the alerts. You don’t have to download an app or subscribe to a service, just ensure your phone is capable and updated.

Emergency Mobile Alert does not replace other emergency alerts. If you feel your life is in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action.

How does Emergency Mobile Alert work?

Emergency Mobile Alert uses a dedicated signal, so it’s not affected by network congestion. This can make Emergency Mobile Alert more reliable in an emergency when mobile phone traffic or people accessing websites could overload the network.

The alert will be broadcast to areas affected by serious hazards for a set period of time. Any capable phone entering this area during the broadcast period will receive the alert.

Emergency Mobile Alert capable phones should work on all mobile networks in New Zealand.

When will Emergency Mobile Alert be available?

Emergency Mobile Alert is due to be available by the end of 2017. However, not all mobile phones will be able to get the Emergency Mobile Alerts at first.

Please check your phone is able to receive the alerts and ensure your phone is on the most up to date operating system. 

What should I do if I receive an Emergency Mobile Alert?

Read the message and take it seriously. It will tell you what the emergency is, what to do, which agency sent the message, and if needed, where to go for more information.

You’ll get updates, if they’re needed, and be told when the threat is over. You won’t get the same message twice.

Emergency Mobile Alert does not replace other emergency alerts!

Emergency Mobile Alert is not intended to replace other alerting systems, or the need to take action after natural warnings.

You should still be prepared for an emergency, and you shouldn’t wait to get an alert before you act. If you feel your life is in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action.

Take the time to make your own emergency plan which includes what to do, where to go, who to go to for help and who you might need to look out for.

More information

Read our FAQs to find more information about Emergency Mobile Alert.

NZSL Video - Overview of Emergency Mobile Alert

This New Zealand Sign Language video gives an overview of New Zealand's new emergency alert channel, Emergency Mobile Alerts.

NZSL video created by Deaf Aotearoa.