New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team

This page provides information on work to design and implement the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team

New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team logo 

Note: The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is currently working on the implementation of the Emergency Management Assistance Team capability. The information on this page is indicative only and is subject to change.

New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team

The New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team (NZ-EMAT or EMAT) is a new capability in the emergency management system, and their establishment is the Government’s response to the recommendations to establish a ‘fly-in team’ in the Technical Advisory Group’s report on better responses to natural disasters and other emergencies. The name reflects the purpose and structure of the team which is to provide specialist capability enhancement to assist and support the affected incident controller and their incident management team manage an emergency.

NZ-EMAT will help ensure that New Zealanders receive a consistent level of support in any emergency, wherever and whenever it happens.

NZ-EMAT will have people with a mix of the appropriate attributes, skills and experience to go wherever required, without delay, to work with and support the local team as they manage emergencies.

What will the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team offer affected agencies?

NZ-EMAT offers requesting agencies:

  • a multi-disciplinary team with training in personal and inter-personal skills designed to enhance the effectiveness of the incident management team across all hazards all risks.
  • a self-sufficient team able to live and operate, when required, in austere post-disaster conditions.
  • four deployable coordination centre facilities with basic Coordination Centre infrastructure including work areas, lighting, power and data.
  • increased certainty on surge staffing, with a target operational time of 24hrs of the response being made and approved, with the ability to remain deployed for up to 14 days.

NZ-EMAT is predominantly focussed on supporting response and early recovery at the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group level, enabling the Group Controller to effectively coordinate across a range of responding agencies and community groups.

The NZ-EMAT will be able to:

  • assist the Local or Group Controller/Recovery Manager in establishing an effective response and recovery when there are difficulties in doing this,
  • support the Local or Group Controller/Recovery Manager to identify any critical resources or capabilities that could add value to the response and recovery effort,
  • provide support when local, regional or national level staff are directly affected by the emergency themselves, or overwhelmed or exhausted by the scale and/or length of the event or emergency,
  • assist the Group Controller/Recovery Manager to provide assurance to the public and Ministers about response and/or recovery activities.

How will the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team work?

The EMAT cadre is drawn from personnel working in a wide range of qualifying agencies. Qualifying agencies include central and local government agencies, the emergency services and New Zealand Defence Force. These personnel have significant experience in crisis response and emergency management in a range of settings in New Zealand and overseas, as well as specialist skills in Public Information Management, Strategic Communications and community engagement.

Personnel will be supported by a comprehensive personal kit to enable them to deploy and operate effectively in an austere environment after a disaster. This will be supported by deployable caches containing multi-function habitation and high speed satellite communication caches which can provide additional coordination centre facilities to augment existing centres.

In an emergency a Controller can request the deployment of a team to provide specific support which will be agreed by MCDEM at the time.

Personnel on the team are paid by their home agency whilst MCDEM coordinate and fund the logistics to deploy and support the team in the field.

What are the timeframes for the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team?

Recruitment for the initial cadre ran in January and February 2019, with interviews and other testing conducted in April and May. The inaugural initial training course will run over 12 days from 5-16 August 2019 with NZ-EMAT candidates training alongside invited colleagues from other specialist emergency management functions such as New Zealand UNDAC, New Zealand Police, New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue and New Zealand Medical Assistance Team in order to develop inter-operability. The team will go-live in August 2019.

A second round of recruitment will commence in September 2019 in order to confirm candidates prior to Christmas for a second initial training course in mid-February 2020. Applicants will need to provide a covering letter, up to date and relevant CV as well as organisation approval in principle. Short-listed applicants will be panel interviewed and successful candidates will be asked to complete a series of psychometric tests before being invited to attend the initial training course as the final stage of assessment.

For further information please contact