Alternative National Crisis Management Centre

Following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, work began towards establishing an Alternative National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) in Auckland.

In 2018, in response to the Ministerial Technical Advisory Group review commissioned by the previous Government: ‘Better responses to natural disasters and other emergencies’ the Government agreed to “implement arrangements for an Auckland-based facility to manage a national crisis if the Wellington facility is unavailable”.

The Alternative NCMC is based in Auckland and will be activated:

  • Following a major earthquake or other significant event, where the impacts are severe enough that the NCMC in Wellington (in the sub-basement of the Beehive) and /or staff are unable to function effectively and/or an alternative Wellington site is not available. 
  • During a large-scale event (or series of events) that requires considerable government coordination (in more than one location).
  • If Government and/or most central agencies have relocated to Auckland.

NEMA is working across central government to establish and develop facility, equipment and staffing capability for the Alternative NCMC arrangements. This includes standing up the Alternative NCMC facility and training surge staff across government agencies to make up supplementary staff for an activation.

Who will staff the Alternative NCMC?

The Alternative NCMC will be staffed by surge staff who are provided by participating central government agencies in Wellington and Auckland. Staff will be trained in New Zealand’s Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) and NCMC Standard Operating Procedure’s (SOP’s) in the event of activation. Ongoing training and development will provide Alternative NCMC surge staff with a range of practical emergency management skills that they can bring back to their home agencies.

Staff will meet a range of new people, building networks across central and local government, and the emergency management sector. This provides participants with the opportunity to work with new people and take on new roles, including leadership opportunities.

Participating agencies will become part of the wider emergency management network, stepping up to assist in large scale emergency responses alongside a range of diverse agencies. It is an opportunity to be part of response efforts of national significance. Hear from surge staff across government who were involved in the All-of-Government COVID-19 response about their involvement in the NCMC.

Training of surge staff includes a range of online modules and face-to-face orientation and training sessions at the Alternative NCMC. Learn more about the full training pathway. 

Agencies who are interested in getting involved in Alternative NCMC arrangements and would like to know more about providing surge staff for training can contact the NEMA System Capability team at

Alternative NCMC Surge Staff Training and Orientation, 1 October 2020

On Thursday 1 October, staff from a range of Government agencies participated in surge staff training for the activation of the Alternative National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) in Auckland. 

A diverse range of agencies were represented at the session, including NZ Police, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry for Primary Industries, Inland Revenue, Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand Customs Service, Department of Internal Affairs, Education Review Office, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and New Zealand Defence Force. The diversity of skills, knowledge and experience from across these agencies showed through during the session, with each participant adding their own value to the activities.

Participants gave great feedback on their first session and will continue to be invited to online and face-to-face training opportunities. Further training and orientation sessions for new participants will be available for booking in coming months.