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Monday 11 Dec - 1:07 pm

Business Continuity Management

Exercise Tangaroa provides an opportunity for organisations to make sure they can continue to deliver their critical services and functions in adverse events and business disruptions.

This page provides:

  1. advice for organisations on putting a business continuity framework in place;
  2. business continuity resources for organisations participating in Exercise Tangaroa. 

Business continuity planning

What is business continuity? Why does it matter?

Disruptions are an expected part of business, so it’s important to be prepared for when they occur. Disruptions can be internal events that impact on your organisation alone (eg: IT system failure), or external events that could impact across several organisations and locations (eg: earthquake).

Business continuity planning helps organisations to better understand what is most important to continue in times of disruption, to identify the resources required to keep these important functions and services running, and to develop strategies for how to achieve it.

Business continuity is not just about having a plan; it is a process that enables organisations to take practical steps to become more resilient and to be able to minimise the impact of any disruptive event, including:

  • loss of staff
  • loss of building / facilities
  • disruption to utilities (power, water, sewerage etc)
  • loss of IT systems
  • failure of a third party supplier to provide their services.

The benefits of business continuity planning

There are many benefits of having business continuity arrangements, including:

  • staff receive adequate support and communications in the event of a disruption
  • the organisation’s reputation is protected
  • the financial impact of a disruption may be lessened
  • proactively identifying the potential impacts of an operational disruption so plans can be put in place to minimise the impact on the organisation
  • critical functions / services are identified and protected
  • effective responses to an incident or disruption are carried out
  • stakeholder requirements are understood and able to be delivered
  • the organisation’s outsourced activities are secure
  • the organisation remains compliant with its legal and regulatory obligations
  • internal and external dependencies (such as third-party suppliers) are identified and documented.

Putting a business continuity framework in place

While a business continuity plan is an important tool, to be most effective the plans and processes need to be well understood and practiced before any disruption occurs.

An effective business continuity framework:

  • has ownership at an executive level (eg: someone takes responsibility for it)
  • identifies the business impact of any given function/service being disrupted
  • considers a range of strategies to ensure the continued delivery of the function/service;
  • documents strategies in Business Continuity Plans (BCPs);
  • exercises plans periodically to validate and remove assumptions; and
  • ensures arrangements are regularly reviewed and maintained.

The following introductory guide goes through the steps to take to put a Business Continuity framework in place, recognising that each organisation will have varying needs in the level of planning required.

 Wanting further help or advice?

There are a number of online websites with advice and templates to help get you started, including:

For government departments and local government, you can contact the Government Sector Business Continuity Group (GSBCG). This group is primarily a networking forum for those with business continuity responsibilities in the public service.

All organisations (both in the public and private sectors) can connect with the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) forum. The BCI is a global, not-for-profit organisation championing business continuity and organisational resilience. To connect in with the New Zealand arm, please email:

There are also a number of companies and contractors that provide business continuity consultancy services. A list of many of those services is provided here:

Exercise Tangaroa – Business Continuity

The following business continuity resources are provided for organisations participating in Exercise Tangaroa:

Reporting on business continuity in Situation Reports

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for staff developing organisation situation reports (Sitreps) during Exercise Tangaroa. In particular this guidance is designed to ensure Sitrep writers cover the impacts the tsunami has on their organisation, including the organisation’s ability to continue functioning and its plans to restore any disrupted critical business functions.

Business Continuity Management Tabletop Exercise

When participating in emergency response exercises we often ‘play’ as if we ourselves are not affected by the event. We work from our offices with full communications; bring in/roster on extra staff or pull on resources that may not be available in a response. We respond to what is happening around us but don’t consider what is happening to us. The Exercise Tangaroa business continuity tabletop exercise will give your organisation the opportunity to look at the internal impacts and challenge assumptions. It is suitable for all organisations, regardless of your level of business continuity planning.