National Hazard Risk Reduction

National risk reduction policies, programmes and services across central government aim to support local government, businesses and individuals to reduce risk at the community and personal level. Alongside central government, national professional bodies and organisations provide guidance to practitioners working within different sectors, and information to the public.

Departments and State Owned Enterprises may also contribute to reduction outcomes through the services they deliver locally as part of their daily activities. These may vary from risk proofing capital infrastructure to that of providing social, education and health services that lessen an individual’s and community’s vulnerability to their risks.

National lifeline utilities and network providers proactively address risks to their services that includes regional lifeline engineering planning groups to recognise and address their inter-dependencies.

Legislation and key reports addressing risk reduction

Central government develops and administers a broad framework of legislation that underpins a wide range of national strategies, plans, policies, regulatory codes, and practices supporting risk reduction outcomes. This legislation includes:

Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002

Building Act 2004 and Building Code

Resource Management Act 1991

Local Government Act 2002

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941

Earthquake Commission Act 1993

Maritime Transport Act 1994

Health Act 1956

Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006

Fire Service Act 1975

Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977

International Terrorism Act 1987

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

Biosecurity Act 1993


The Government also establishes priorities for and funds research into hazards, risks, vulnerabilities and disaster resilience, to guide informed decision-making. Developing a comprehensive understanding of New Zealand’s hazardscape is an essential step in identifying and prioritising risk reduction activities, alongside of readiness, response, and recovery planning. For further information on CDEM research in New Zealand, see CDEM Research.