National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015 and Guide to the Plan
Information about and links to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015 and the Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015.
The National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015 sets out the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in reducing risks and preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. This includes central and local government, lifeline utilities, emergency services and non-government organisations.
View 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 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)
- Note: the National Tsunami Advisory and Warning Plan referred to in section 25 was updated and reissued in June 2020
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)
- Note: the Disaster Relief Funds referred to in Section 33 has a factsheet issued in June 2022.
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)
Review of the National CDEM Plan and Guide 2015
The current National Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Plan has been in force since 1 December 2015. The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 requires that the National CDEM Plan be reviewed every five years to ensure that the arrangements within it are robust, current and well understood by the agencies responsible for their delivery. The current Plan’s operative period closed on 30 November 2020 but the Plan continues to be in force until it is replaced.
The review of the Plan and Guide is happening as part of the Trifecta Programme alongside the development of the new Emergency Management Bill to ensure we can implement the policy changes that are being made within the Bill, and that the planning arrangements reflect our current environment and put us in a good position for the future.
Other benefits that we can realise by reviewing the Plan and Guide now include:
- putting the people affected by emergencies at the heart of our planning by reorganising the Plan around what we want to achieve to make it outcome focused, rather than prescribing how organisations and agencies should work
- clarifying roles and responsibilities of agencies and organisations involved in managing or supporting the management of emergencies
- addressing shortcomings in the current Plan arrangements based on what we have learned from previous events
- simplifying the Plan framework to make it easier to navigate and update in the future.
Changes to emergency management planning arrangements are not intended to be transformative. What currently works within the current Plan and Guide will remain, with some improvements based on lessons from events as well as those required to give effect to the Government response to a Technical Advisory Group’s report into how New Zealand responds to natural disasters and emergencies.
Emergency management partners and stakeholders will have the opportunity to engage in the review of the Plan and can participate as little or as much as they like (depending on their interest and capacity) across the different phases of work. Opportunities to be involved include identifying areas for change, and testing and reviewing the draft Plan between November 2022 and May 2023.
For further information please contact Trifecta@nema.govt.nz
Previous reviews and updates
Review of the National CDEM Plan 2005
A review of the 2005 National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan commenced in 2010 but was delayed to enable the incorporation of important lessons learned from the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
- The Guide and National CDEM Plan 2015 replaced the previous National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2005 and supporting Guide on 1 December 2015.Read the summary of the submissions on the 2015 National CDEM Plan
- Read the frequently asked questions sheet on the revised 2015 National CDEM Plan
2017 and 2020 updates to the Guide to the National CDEM Plan 2015
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.