Whakamaru ohotata
Emergency management and recovery

When natural disasters hit, communities turn to their councils for help and information. Councils support communities to recover from the devasting impacts of disasters.

Local government plays a central role in civil defence and emergency management. In times of disaster, it's local councils that step in to lead the response and recovery efforts in their regions and communities.

Only councils have the local knowledge and networks required to navigate community needs and wants – and enable effective decision-making through all four stages of emergency management: reduction, readiness, response and recovery.

Our focus is on ensuring that local government's roles in all phases of emergency management are supported and empowered by central government.

We’re always swift to respond when the government introduces emergency response legislation, such as the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Act that was passed in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle in early 2023.

Previously, we've put forward proposals and advocated for the establishment of a Local Government Risk Agency to pool and coordinate local government resources to reduce the risk to assets and the financial costs associated with disasters.

Read our one-page summary on why a Local Government Risk Agency is so important.

Our work to date

The timeline below summarises activity to date.

October 2023

We released a final submission on the Emergency Management Bill.

Read our submission: Submission Emergency Management Bill

August 2023

We submitted on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s discussion document: Strengthening the resilience of Aotearoa New Zealand’s critical infrastructure system.

Read our submission: Strengthening the resilience-of Aotearoa New Zealand Critical Infrastructure

August 2023

We wrote to Ministers asking for changes to support voluntary buyouts.
Read our letter to the Minister: Important need for legal certainty for councils undertaking voluntary buyouts

March 2023

We submitted on the Government’s Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Bill stating our believe that locally led responses to emergencies are critical and must be enabled by central government.

Read our submission: Severe weather emergency recovery legislation bill

February 2022

We called for the use of online quorums anytime there is an emergency declaration.

Read our letter to the Minister: Changing the Local Government Act 2002

February 2022

We delivered a submission to Government on their Trifecta Programme and the National emergency Management Agency’s targeted engagement.

Read our submission: Modernising the Emergency Management Framework