Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015

The Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015 (the Guide) sets out the arrangements, roles, and responsibilities of agencies for the national management, or support to local management, of emergencies.

The Guide incorporates the wording of the National CDEM Plan 2015, which states the principles, arrangements, and frameworks that apply to the management of emergencies.  The Guide supports this wording with further detail, diagrams, and operational information.

The Guide and National CDEM Plan 2015 replaced the previous National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2005 and supporting Guide on 1 December 2015.

2015 revision

The 2015 revision to the Guide involved realigning it with the National CDEM Plan 2015, improving documentation of further enhanced arrangements, and providing an up-to-date navigational tool for agencies and CDEM Groups to source relevant material on specific CDEM functions across the 4 Rs.

The 2015 revision involved consultation and collaboration with the CDEM sector, agencies with responsibilities under the National CDEM Plan 2015, and a range of other agencies and organisations who contribute to, or support, emergency management in New Zealand. 

2017 and 2020 updates

As relationships, activities, and operational arrangements continue to develop, these can be reflected in the Guide, which is designed to be a ‘living document’.

In 2017, two sections were reissued:

  • Section 25 – National warnings and advisories was revised to align with the updated Tsunami Advisory and Warning Plan
  • Section 28 – Public information management was updated to reflect changes to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with broadcasters

In March 2020, six sections were reissued:

  • Section 1 – Introduction was updated to align with changes in key terms, the audience, and scope of the National CDEM Plan. Detail about the National Disaster Resilience Strategy was also added
  • Section 5 – National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) – formerly Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) was revised to reflect the establishment of NEMA to replace MCDEM
  • Section 6 – Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups reflects changes to Response Teams and adds further information on recovery
  • Section 10 – Fire services was updated with changes due to the establishment of Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Section 32 – Recovery was revised to align with the Recovery Preparedness and Management Director’s Guideline and Strategic Planning for Recovery Director’s Guideline, and to reflect changes made in 2016 by the CDEM Amendment Act
  • Section 33 – Government financial support to local authorities was updated to enable Local Authorities to recover the welfare costs they incur when supporting people required to self-isolate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including pet food for companion animals.    

The National CDEM Plan 2015 was updated on 1 December 2019 to replace the definition of MCDEM with a definition of NEMA. It also replaced all references to MCDEM with references to NEMA.

All references to MCDEM in the Guide, on websites, other documents, Director’s Guidelines, codes, or standards etc. are to be read as a reference to NEMA.


Downloading copies of the Guide

The Guide to the National CDEM Plan 2015 in full (.pdf 5mb) (revised 26 March 2020)

Download by Section

Cover page, contents, summary of sections, and preface (.pdf 527kb)

Section 1. Introduction (.pdf 156kb) (revised 26 March 2020)

Section 2. Hazards and risks (.pdf 145kb)

Section 3. Management of emergencies (.pdf 235kb)

Section 4. General roles and responsibilities (.pdf 66kb)

Section 5. National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) – formerly Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) (.pdf 58kb) (revised 26 March 2020)

Section 6. Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups (CDEM Groups) (.pdf 343kb) (revised 26 March 2020)

Section 7. Clusters (.pdf 65kb)

Section 8. Emergency services (.pdf 47kb)

Section 9. New Zealand Police (.pdf 86kb)

Section 10. Fire services (.pdf 128kb) (revised 26 March 2020)

Section 11. Health and disability services (.pdf 240kb)

Section 12. New Zealand Defence Force (.pdf 53kb)

Section 13. Lifeline utilities (.pdf 385kb)

Section 14. Welfare services (.pdf 1,008kb)

Section 15. Building management (.pdf 98kb)

Section 16. Science and research organisations (.pdf 58kb)

Section 17. Reduction (.pdf 64kb)

Section 18. Readiness (.pdf 49kb)

Section 19. Planning (.pdf 67kb)

Section 20. Capability development (.pdf 57kb)

Section 21. Exercising and testing (.pdf 57kb)

Section 22. Monitoring and evaluation (.pdf 127kb)

Section 23. Public education and community engagement (.pdf 54kb)

Section 24. Response (.pdf 52kb)

Section 25. National warnings and advisories (.pdf 659kb) (revised 5 May 2017) 

Section 26. National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) (.pdf 63kb)

Section 27. Emergency Information Management (.pdf 56kb)

Section 28. Public Information Management (.pdf 296kb) (revised 5 May 2017)

Section 29. Logistics (.pdf 151kb)

Section 30. Mass evacuation (.pdf 74kb)

Section 31. International assistance for New Zealand (.pdf 196kb)

Section 32. Recovery (.pdf 433kb) (revised 26 March 2020)

Section 33. Government financial support to local authorities (.pdf 119kb) (revised 26 March 2020)

Appendix 1. Supporting plans (.pdf 46kb)

Appendix 2. Definitions and abbreviations (.pdf 127kb)

Appendix 3. Agencies with roles and responsibilities in this Guide (.pdf 225kb)