New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team

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

New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team logo


What is the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team?

The New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team (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.

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

EMAT has 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.

For further information please contact nzemat.admin@nema.govt.nz

EMAT initial training course


New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team deployment process

Deployment of the EMAT cadre or Deployable Coordination Centre is made by the NEMA Duty Manager, NEMA National Coordination Centre Controller or National Crisis Management Centre National Controller, depending on the level of NEMA activiation.

CDEM Group requests for deployment begins with the relevant Regional Emergency Management Advisor (REMA), before a formal request for deployment is provided to the NEMA Duty Officer.  

Other Lead Agencies can request deployment directly to the NEMA Duty Officer. 

The deployment process occurs in three parts: 

  1. An EMAT Deployment Request – Form A is completed outlining as much information as is known. If email is not available each field can be relayed by voice. 
  2. The Duty Manager or Controller will agree or decline the deployment, including modifying requested elements, based on available resources and other competing requests.  
  3. An EMAT Deployment Order confirming the capability being deployed will be provided back to the requesting agency, EMAT Cadre and Fire and Emergency New Zealand in order to coordinate the response. 

 Request the deployment of EMAT 


Logistics and equipment

Learn more about how the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team operates and what deployable capability is available with the Team.


What does the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team offer requesting agencies?

EMAT offers requesting agencies the following. 

  • Access to a 46-person multi-disciplinary EMAT cadre, who are recruited from central and local government and emergency services. They have training in personal and inter-personal skills, designed to enhance the effectiveness of incident management teams for all hazards.
  • The ability to request the deployment of a self-sufficient team or individual subject matter experts. They will be able to live and operate in severe post-disaster conditions. 
  • Five Deployable Coordination Centre (DCC) caches supported by EMAT and Fire and Emergency New Zealand. These can provide a weatherproof 50-person coordination centre facility including office equipment, incident management resources, lighting, power and data. 
  • Increased certainty on surge staffing. There is a target operational time of 24 hours from the response standing up and surge approval. There is the ability to remain deployed for up to 14 days. 

EMAT is focused 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 EMAT can: 

  • assist the Local or Group Controller/Recovery Manager in establishing an effective response and recovery, 
  • 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 overwhelmed or exhausted by the scale and/or length of the event or emergency, and
  • assist the Group Controller/Recovery Manager to provide assurance to the public and Ministers about response and/or recovery activities. 

What does membership of the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team offer individuals and their home agencies?

The benefits of team membership include:

  • the significant and ongoing investment in capability and personal development of each NZ EMAT volunteer, transferrable to their home agencies
  • exposing NZ EMAT volunteers to a broader range of events and emergencies than they would deal with in their home agency, resulting in professional growth and an increased depth of experience
  • enhanced cross-agency connections at local, regional and national levels.

EMAT member testimonials