National Disaster Resilience Strategy development

We're developing a new National Disaster Resilience Strategy in collaboration with local and central government and key partners and stakeholders. This will replace the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Strategy.

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Development progress

Why review the Strategy?

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MCDEM is working with local/central government and a range of partners/stakeholders to see where our resilience work can be improved. We are collating and testing feedback as we go to help shape the National Disaster Resilience Strategy.

Due to the Kaikoura Earthquake response, MCDEM had to cancel most of the workshops being held in November 2016.  However, we have rescheduled these workshops for late March and early April 2017.  During these workshops we are going to discuss the ‘themes’ of social, economic, built, natural, cultural and governance and how they relate to resilience. Email us to register to attend.

  • 24 March 2017 - Christchurch - 10am-1:30pm (incl lunch) - Christchurch City Council, Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central - NOW FULL

  • 29 March 2017 - Wellington - 9am-12:30pm (incl lunch) - St. Andrew’s Centre, 30 The Terrace, Wellington - NOW FULL

  • 6 April 2017 - Auckland - 9am-12:30pm (incl lunch) - Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland - NOW FULL

What stage is development at? 

We're in phase 3 (of 6).

The findings from phase 1 & 2 have confirmed that the 2017 Strategy should:

  • have a broader focuse on resilience (rather than ‘CDEM’)
  • focus on reduction risk and increased resilience as a 2-pronged strategy to build overall national resilience
  • promote all-of-society ownership of disaster resilience
  • use the Sendai Framework as a strong reference point
  • have specific actions rather than broad objectives.

Based on this information, four priorities emerged as the cross-cutting issues that need to be addressed for overall national resilience. These are:

  • improve the understanding of risk to enable better risk-informed decision-making
  • reduce existing risk and minimise the creation of new risk
  • strengthen resilience, both planned and adaptive
  • build a culture of resilience.

During phase 3 we will set up an external Project Reference Group and begin initiating a kāhu/hui to develop a Māori resilience framework.

Why review the Strategy?

The National CDEM Strategy is New Zealand’s vision for civil defence emergency management (CDEM). It sets out principles and goals that guide all CDEM stakeholders (including government departments, local authorities, lifeline utilities, and emergency services) in working towards the vision of a ‘Resilient New Zealand’. 

The current CDEM Strategy has guided effective civil defence emergency management for almost 14 years, resulting in solid emergency response arrangements and growing ‘professionalisation’ and integration of activities across the CDEM sector.  However strong our response efforts are, New Zealand is faced with an increased awareness of its hazards and the effects that these can have on our communities.

There are significant opportunities to strengthen New Zealand’s ability to minimise the impact of disasters on our communities. The shocks, crises, and emergencies that New Zealand will inevitably face do not need to become ‘disasters’ that compromise our prosperity and living standards.  International best practise suggests that for New Zealand to achieve its vision of resilience, a collective effort should shift the focus to ‘managing risk’ rather than ‘managing disasters’. 

In March 2015 New Zealand made a commitment to the international Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Within 15 years it seeks to achieve:

The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.

The intent for New Zealand is that we examine our current work and consider where efforts could be better targeted to yield the greatest benefit across four priority areas:

  1. Understanding disaster risk;
  2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
  3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience;
  4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The review of the CDEM Strategy presents us with an opportunity to consider what that could look like. With this in mind, the National CDEM Strategy review will result in a new National Disaster Resilience Strategy. Implementation of the strategy will demonstrate over time New Zealand’s progress towards the priorities of the Sendai Framework. 

Stay up to date

We'll update this page to share progress and test ideas, so watch this space.

Enquiries, ideas or concerns please email us