At Work

Find out how to be prepared at work.


While the Ministry is not engaged in risk management or business continuity consultancy, there are key messages that all businesses should understand prior to initiating or reviewing continuity planning arrangements:

  1. It is not an option to be unprepared. Disasters do happen, but you can 'make the mess less' and hasten a return to normalcy through prior planning and committing to mitigation and preparedness activity. This can save time and money in the long term.
  2. Risk assessment must consider risks posed by external factors; particularly interdependencies or out-sourced services/arrangements.
  3. Business continuity must protect business assets - staff, equipment, facilities, IT systems, reputation, market-share, liquidity, etc.
  4. Business continuity must protect both internal and external service capability, particularly in support of CDEM-critical activity (such as emergency services and medical facilities). Forecast and prioritise external demand before the event.
  5. Planning can only be effective if developed co-operatively with all business stakeholders so that responsibilities and roles are clearly understood and assumptions validated.
  6. Risk, asset, and emergency management or continuity planning processes must develop across an entire organisation, from hazard assessment through to exercising, audit, review and feedback.

Looking after Staff

Evacuation Schemes:

Fire: Building owners are required by the Fire Safety & Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 to establish and maintain evacuation schemes (related to fire threat). The regulations also enforce tenants responsibility for compliance with a landlord provided evacuation scheme.

Earthquake: Experience in the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-1 and Cook Strait earthquakes of 2013 have shown that a fire evacuation scheme does not suit an earthquake. Evacuation of staff onto the streets immediately following an earthquake is likely to increase the risk of death or injury in many cases. The Ministry has offered guidance on what to do in the following media release:

Do NOT get outside quickly after an earthquake: Guide for workplace earthquake plan

Procedures for dealing with (all) workplace emergencies: The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 also requires tenants/employers to develop procedures (multi-risk preparedness - not just for fire) for preventing harm, identifying workplace hazards and managing them.

Civil Defence Cabinets

In terms of practical civil defence equipment/cabinets that could be made available for your staff, see the guide to CD cabinets and food supplies.

Managing Risk

How do I develop a business plan?

How do we apply business continuity management organisation-wide?

How do business continuity management and planning relate to risk management?

ISO 22301:2012 Business Continuity Management Systems specifies the requirements for planning, establishing, implementing, operating, reviewing and maintaining a business continuity system. It is available from SAI Global.

Resilient Organisations (ResOrg) is a collaboration between New Zealand universities aimed at transforming organisations into those that both survive major events and thrive in the aftermath. Its website, offers a variety of useful publications and resources, including the Shut Happens resilience guide for small business.

Another source of guidance is the Good Practice Guidelines series that is avaiable to buy from the Business Continuity Institute.

Other Sources

The following web sites provide continuity information.

Please note: Inclusion of a website does not necessarily imply endorsement by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management of the products or services offered.

The Business Continuity Institute

Business Continuance Planning Ltd

Standby Computing Services

Kestrel Group Ltd

AON New Zealand

Devereux-Blum Training

NZ Society for Risk Management

Risk Management Ltd

Continuity Central

Disaster Recovery Journal

iBCMS Limited

Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia

There are also a number of New Zealand based consultancies that specialise in Business Continuity planning. 

Lifeline Utilities should also refer to the Ministry's Lifelines page