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Recovery framework and guidance

The CDEM Act 2002 forms the basis of the CDEM framework. Other parts of the framework include Regulations, the CDEM Strategy, the National CDEM Plan and its Guide, which all have specific components that relate directly to recovery.

MCDEM also provides guidance for the CDEM sector on recovery, including Director’s Guidelines, Fact Sheets, and other resources.

Recovery in the CDEM Framework

Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Act 2016

The CDEM Amendment Act 2016 strengthens the legislative framework for recovery to help communities get back on their feet more quickly after an emergency.  The majority of the Amendment Act came into force on 29 November 2016 to allow provisions to be used to support recovery from the Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquake sequence. 

Although its focus is on recovery from small to medium events, the Amendment Act is not limited to these types of emergencies. Its provisions can be used in a large scale emergency until any bespoke legislation is created. 

The Amendment Act amends the CDEM Act to:

  • establish a legislative framework for recovery management, by providing a mandate for recovery managers and by strengthening the requirement to plan for recovery
  • support a seamless transition from response into the initial recovery phase, by establishing a transition notice mechanism that will make some emergency powers available for a specified period of time (local or national transition period), and
  • makes some minor and technical amendments to improve the Act, and consequential amendments to other legislation and the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015.

Further information on changes to the CDEM Act 2002.

Further information on the CDEM Act 2002.

Recovery Transition Periods

The CDEM Act provides for CDEM Groups to give notice of a transition period following an emergency, whether a state of local emergency has been declared or not. The purpose of the transition period is to aid recovery by providing powers to manage, co-ordinate, or direct recovery activities.

Local transition periods have a maximum duration of 28 days. They may be extended (for up to another 28 days) or terminated at any time.

During a transition period, Recovery Managers have access to powers. Refer to Recovery Managers for further information on these powers. 

Civil Defence Emergency Management Regulations 2003

The CDEM Regulations 2003 include forms for giving notice, extending and terminating a national or local transition period.

Word versions of these forms can be found here [hyperlink to Forms and Templates heading/page]

National Civil Defence Emergency Management Strategy

Goal four of the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Strategy focuses on recovery. The goal is to enhance New Zealand’s capability to recovery from civil defence emergencies.

National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015

The National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015 sets out the roles and responsibilities of agencies and groups during recovery. Part 9 of the CDEM Plan covers the objectives and principles of recovery, transitioning from response to recovery, transition periods and recovery activities.

The CDEM Plan also covers Government financial support to local authorities during recovery.

Section 32 of the Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan

Section 32 of the Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan provides information on the objectives and principles of recovery. It also covers activities in transiting from response to recovery, recovery structures, national and CDEM Group roles and responsibilities, and exit strategies.

MCDEM guidance on recovery

Strategic Planning for Recovery Director's Guideline 2017

Strategic planning for recovery focuses on determining what CDEM Groups, and each member of the CDEM Group (i.e. local authorities), need to do to ensure their communities are well-placed and supported to recover from emergencies.  

This Director's Guideline provides guidance to CDEM Groups on how they can go about this process, addressing the specific hazards and risks set out in their CDEM Group plan, as well as considering the consequences these hazards and risks may have on communities.  

Strategic Planning for Recovery Director's Guideline

Recovery Management Director’s Guidelines 2005

The purpose of this guideline is to provide a coordinated framework for recovery planning and management in New Zealand. It is to help CDEM Groups understand recovery so they can develop effective CDEM Group recovery plans. The guideline identifies all the components as well as pre– and post-event recovery activities and is designed to provide practical advice for developing recovery plans.

Recovery Management Director's Guidelines [DGL 04/05] (.pdf 1.5mb)

CDEM Group Planning Director’s Guidelines 2015

Section 4.4 of the CDEM Group Planning provides guidance on the recovery contents of CDEM Group Plans. 

CDEM Group Planning Director's Guidelines (pdf 1.9 MB)

Information Series

Focus on Recovery: A holistic framework for recovery in New Zealand 2005

Focus on Recovery provides a framework for recovery planning and management in New Zealand for local government, Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups and government departments.

Focus on Recovery [IS 5/05] (.pdf 1.6mb)


Factsheets were developed to provide further information on the CDEM Amendment Act 2016. The factsheets cover changes to the Act, transition periods, powers of Recovery Managers and the Minister of Civil Defence (and recording and reporting on the use of powers), recovery planning, structural assessment and miscellaneous information. 

CDEM Amendment Act 2016 factsheets

Forms and Templates

Notice of local transition period

Word version of the form giving notice of a transition period (Form 17 CDEM Regulations 2003). (.doc 21kb)

Notice of extension of local transition period

Word version of the form extending a transition period (Form 18 CDEM Regulations 2003). (.doc 22kb)

Notice of termination of local transition period

Word version of the form terminating a transition period (Form 19 CDEM Regulations 2003). (.doc 22kb)

Recording powers used during a transition period

A template for recording powers exercised during a transition period is included in the factsheet Advice on recording powers used during a transition period (.pdf 631kb)

Group Recovery Report template

The template is designed to be used by Group Recovery Managers or Local Recovery Managers when providing consolidated recovery reporting to the Ministry following an emergency. The template has been developed over the last 5 years of recovery reporting. CDEM Groups can make any minor changes they need (such as deleting references to TA's if not applicable), but are asked to retain all sections and report on all indicated content.

Download group recovery report template (.doc 100kb)

Recovery Action Plan template

Recovery Action Plan template for use during recovery.

Recovery Action Plan template (57 KB)