NEMA takes over NZ's emergency management systems

Thursday, 05 December, 2019

NEMA takes over NZ's emergency management systems

An autonomous agency has replaced New Zealand’s (NZ) Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management in a bid to improve the country’s emergency management systems.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) took over from the Ministry on 1 December, following a recommendation from a Ministerial review to establish a proactive agency to “provide national coordination and support in local emergencies, national control in national emergencies, and to lift [civil defence and emergency management] performance overall”.

The NZ Civil Defence Minister, Hon Peeni Henare, said the Prime Minister and Cabinet-hosted agency will “help New Zealand better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies by boosting the performance and capability of the system across all hazards and all risks”.

It will work with central and local governments, communities, iwi//Māori and the business sector to reduce emergencies’ effects on people, communities, property, infrastructure, the economy and the environment, Henare said.

It’s currently being led by Carolyn Schwalger, who has been the Programme Director for the NEMA transition since July 2019.

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