National Emergency Management Agency

The National Emergency Management Agency provides leadership in reducing risk, being ready for, responding to and recovering from emergencies.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was established on 1 December 2019, replacing the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM). All references to the MCDEM on this website, or in any documents, Director’s Guidelines, codes or standards etc. are to be read as a reference to NEMA.

The National Emergency Management Agency is an autonomous Departmental Agency hosted by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

About the National Emergency Management Agency

The primary function of the National Emergency Management Agency is to support and enable communities to manage emergencies.

The National Emergency Management Agency works with the diverse range of agencies that comprise the emergency management sector, each with different responsibilities and focus, and varying levels of resources and capability. Organisations involved include communities and their local authorities, CDEM Groups, central government departments and agencies, emergency services, welfare agencies, lifeline utilities and education providers, researchers, international agencies, and non-government organisations.

The National Emergency Management Agency:

  • Provides advice to government on civil defence emergency management matters.
  • Identifies hazards and risks.
  • Develops, maintains and evaluates the effectiveness of the civil defence emergency management strategic framework.
  • Ensures coordination at local, regional, and national levels.
  • Promotes civil defence emergency management and delivers public awareness about how to prepare for, and what to do in, an emergency.
  • Supports civil defence emergency management sector capability development, planning and operations, including developing guidelines and standards.
  • Monitors and evaluates the performance of the 16 regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups (Groups).
  • Maintains and operates the National Crisis Management Centre, including the maintenance of a duty team to staff the Centre, and issue warnings and public information.
  • Manages the central government response to, and recovery from emergencies resulting from geological (earthquakes, volcanic unrest, landslides, tsunami), meteorological (coastal hazards, floods, severe winds, snow) and infrastructure failure where the National Emergency Management Agency is the lead agency.

Read the Guide to the National CDEM Plan 2015


Establishing the National Emergency Management Agency

The National Emergency Management Agency assumed all the responsibilities of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 and National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015.

Establishing the National Emergency Management Agency was a key recommendation from Better Responses to Natural Disasters and other Emergencies, a review into New Zealand’s civil defence emergency management system. The National Emergency Management Agency will work across central government and with local government, emergency services, communities, iwi, lifeline utilities and business to create an emergency management system that is ready and able to provide an effective and integrated response to, and recovery from, emergencies.

The National Emergency Management Agency provides national leadership to our distributed emergency management system. The National Emergency Management Agency’s primary focus is on the performance and capability of the emergency management system as a whole, across all hazards and all risks and the 4 Rs of risk reduction, readiness, response and recovery.

The National Emergency Management Agency will:

  • provide proactive and professional leadership of New Zealand’s emergency management system, across the 4 Rs with a strong focus on effective response to and recovery from emergencies under the CDEM Act, across all hazards and risks to support all communities
  • build the capability and capacity of the emergency management system (including the professionalisation of emergency management)
  • lift the performance of the system through activities such as setting and enforcing standards
  • provide assurance to Government and the public about the performance and capability of the emergency management system to respond and recover effectively
  • lead or support responses to, and recovery from, emergencies (irrespective of cause).

Read Better Responses to Natural Disasters and other Emergencies


Strategic Business Plan

The strategic business plan outlines the strategic directions. Within the plan are the goals and objectives identified as necessary to achieve the plan.

View previous strategic business plans.


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 June 2019 (1.6mb)

Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Civil Defence October 2017

Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Civil Defence April 2017 (.pdf 1.6mb)

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

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