The 4 Rs

The New Zealand integrated approach to civil defence emergency management can be described by the four areas of activity, known as the ‘4 Rs’; Reduction, readiness, response and recovery.


Identifying and analysing long-term risks to human life and property from hazards; taking steps to eliminate these risks if practicable, and, if not, reducing the magnitude of their impact and the likelihood of their occurring.

Readiness and response 

Developing operational systems and capabilities before a civil defence emergency happens; including self-help and response programmes for the general public, and specific programmes for emergency services, lifeline utilities and other agencies.

Actions taken immediately before, during or directly after a civil defence emergency to save lives and protect property, and to help communities recover.


The coordinated efforts and processes to bring about the immediate, medium-term and long-term holistic regeneration of a community following a civil defence emergency.