About this page

Emergencies are things like:

  • floods
  • earthquakes
  • storms
  • landslides.

There are:

  • different kinds of emergencies
  • different organisations that deal with emergencies.

This Easy Read webpage is about who does what in different kinds of emergencies.

Small emergencies

Many small emergencies can be dealt with by emergency services.

For example Fire and Emergency New Zealand if a house catches fire.

There are also small to medium emergencies like floods.

These can be managed by your local:

  • council
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.
Civil Defence logo

Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups are made up of people from different councils in your area.

On this webpage we will call them CDEM Groups for short.

There are 16 CDEM Groups in New Zealand.

You can find more information about the CDEM Groups on this website:


State of Local Emergency

Some emergencies need extra work to make sure different services work together well.

Civil Defence logo

In this case someone from the CDEM Group may say there is a State of Local Emergency.

This means the CDEM Group has more powers to deal with the emergency.

Civil Defence logo

When there is a State of Local Emergency the CDEM Group is in charge of dealing with the emergency.

This means things like:

  • organising other emergency services
  • telling people what is happening
  • making sure people cannot go in dangerous placces
  • making sure people have the things they need like
    • a place to stay
    • food
    • water.

State of National Emergency

Civil Defence logo

If there is a very big emergency the Minister for Emergency Management can say it is a State of National Emergency.

The Minister for Emergency Management is the person in Government who makes some of the decisions about emergency management.

In this case the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management is in charge.

National Emergency Management Agency logo

The National Emergency Management Agency / NEMA organises the work on the emergency.

Other work by CDEM Groups

Civil Defence logo

When there is not an emergency CDEM Groups work on building resilient communities.

Resilient communities are ones that can deal well with bad things happening.

This work includes:

  • planning for emergencies
  • working on making things better after an emergency
  • working to reduce risks and hazards.
A tree

Risks and hazards are things that can go wrong like:

  • a tree that might fall down
  • a place a river might flood.

CDEM Groups work closely with:

  • emergency services like fire and ambulance
  • government departments
  • iwi
  • essential services like power or phone / internet
  • others who support people in emergencies.

National Emergency Management Agency

National Emergency Management Agency logo

The National Emergency Management Agency is called NEMA for short.

It looks after the New Zealand Emergency Management system which means:

  • making sure it works how it should
  • finding ways of making it better.