New funding to put people at the heart of NZ’s emergency management system
Funding from Budget 2019 will establish a new national agency to strengthen New Zealand’s emergency management system, Minister of Civil Defence Hon Kris Faafoi said today.
“The new National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been created because as a Government we saw the need to improve our emergency management capability and to put people and communities at the centre of any response. The new agency will work across central government and with local government, emergency services, communities, iwi, lifeline utilities and business to create an emergency management system that is ready and able to provide an effective and integrated response to, and recovery from, emergencies.
“The emergency management system plays a critical role in keeping New Zealanders safe and building resilience and has performed well through a number of emergencies in recent years. But this investment will help us to better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies to deliver on our responsibilities and keep communities safe.”
Mr Faafoi said 2019’s Wellbeing Budget includes $4.5million of funding for the establishment of the NEMA, and to improve the resilience of emergency response capabilities.
“Its focus will be on boosting the performance and capability of the emergency management system as a whole, across all hazards and all risks to ensure the system is ready for whatever emergency New Zealand faces.
“This new agency will strengthen the national leadership of the emergency management system, lift the profile and influence of the emergency management function within government and strengthen its integration with other areas of Government.”
Mr Faafoi says the NEMA was recommended following of a review into New Zealand’s civil defence system. It will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, and will be located in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The $4.5m includes funding to establish NEMA and to strengthen operations, including 24/7 monitoring, alerting and warning capability and the resilience of the National Crisis Management Centre.
This investment follows last year’s funding boost for the establishment of the Emergency Management Assistance Team (referred to previously as ‘fly-in teams’) together with a range of other initiatives aimed at improving the emergency management system.
The new agency is expected to be established before the end of 2019.
Media contact: Lindsey Birnie 021 814 025