Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (New Zealand)
|Headquarters||Bowen House, Wellington
|Annual budget||NZD 12.3m|
|Parent agency||Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (New Zealand)|
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM; Māori: Te Rākau Whakamarumaru) is the public service department of New Zealand responsible for providing leadership and support around national, local and regional emergencies. Originally established within the Department of Internal Affairs in 1959, it now operates as a business unit of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Ministry reports to the Minister of Civil Defence, currently Nathan Guy.
No formal civil defence or emergency management structure existed in New Zealand until the 1930s, when the increasing threat of war prompted the formation of the Emergency Precautions Scheme, which was controlled by the Department of Internal Affairs. In addition to war, earthquake risk was another concern of the Scheme, prompted in part by the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake. During World War II, the name of the EPS was changed to Civil Defence. While EPS/Civil Defence did not need to respond to any invasion attempts, it was twice called upon to assist with earthquake recovery efforts in Wellington and the Wairarapa region in 1942.
Following the war, responsibility for civil defence was assumed by the Department of Internal Affairs. A Review of Defence white paper, issued by the Second Labour Government amid the fear of nuclear war, proposed the establishment of a separate Ministry of Civil Defence. The first Director of Civil Defence was J.V. Meech (also the Secretary of Internal Affairs), though in practice much of the work was delegated to Andrew Sharp; the first Minister of Civil Defence in the post-war period was Bill Anderton (also the Minister of Internal Affairs). The Civil Defence Act 1962 set out in legislation the responsibilities and duties of the Ministry. In 1964, the first full-time Director of Civil Defence was appointed: Brigadier R.C. Queree.
A new Ministry for Emergency Management was established under the National/New Zealand First Coalition Government by Civil Defence Minister Jack Elder on 1 July 1999, following the Review of Emergency Services. This replaced the existing Ministry of Civil Defence. Later, the department name changed again to become the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, its current title.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management moved from the Department of Internal Affairs to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on 1 April 2014. This was intended to reflect DMPC's role as the government's lead agency in national security planning.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management administers the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002 and:
- provides advice to government on civil defence emergency management matters
- identifies hazards and risks
- develops, maintains and evaluates the effectiveness of the civil defence emergency management strategic framework
- ensures coordination at local, regional, and national levels
- promotes civil defence emergency management and deliver public awareness about how to prepare for, and what to do in, an emergency
- supports civil defence emergency management sector capability development, planning and operations, including developing guidelines and standards
- monitors and evaluates the performance of the 16 regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups
- maintains and operates the National Crisis Management Centre, including the maintenance of a duty team to staff the Centre, and issue warnings and public information
- manages the central government response to, and recovery from, large scale emergencies resulting from geological (earthquakes, volcanic unrest, landslides, tsunami), meteorological (coastal hazards, floods, severe winds, snow) and infrastructure failure.
List of Ministers of Civil Defence
|Colour key (for political parties)|
|No.||Name||Portrait||Term of Office||Prime Minister|
|1||William Bodkin||30 June 1942||2 October 1942||Fraser
(in the War Administration)
|2||David Wilson||30 October 1942||12 April 1944||Fraser|
|1944–1959: See Minister of Internal Affairs|
|3||Bill Anderton||1959||12 December 1960||Nash|
|4||Leon Götz||12 December 1960||20 December 1963||Holyoake|
|5||David Seath||20 December 1963||9 February 1972|
|6||Allan Highet||9 February 1972||8 December 1972||Marshall|
|7||Tom McGuigan||8 December 1972||10 September 1974||Kirk|
|8||Henry May||10 September 1974||12 December 1975||Rowling|
|(6)||Allan Highet||12 December 1975||26 July 1984||Muldoon|
|9||Peter Tapsell||26 July 1984||24 August 1987||Lange|
|10||Michael Bassett||24 August 1987||9 February 1990|
|11||Margaret Austin||9 February 1990||2 November 1990|
|12||Graeme Lee||2 November 1990||29 November 1993||Bolger|
|13||Warren Cooper||29 November 1993||1 March 1996|
|14||John Banks||1 March 1996||1 November 1996|
|15||Murray McCully||1 November 1996||16 December 1996|
|16||Jack Elder||16 December 1996||10 December 1999|
|17||George Hawkins||16 December 1999||19 October 2005||Clark|
|18||Rick Barker||19 October 2005||19 November 2008|
|19||John Carter||19 November 2008||8 June 2011||Key|
|20||Craig Foss||8 June 2011||14 December 2011|
|21||Chris Tremain||14 December 2011||30 January 2013|
|22||Nikki Kaye||30 January 2013||20 December 2016|
|23||Gerry Brownlee||30 January 2013||20 December 2016|
|24||Nathan Guy||20 December 2016||present|
- "Briefing for Incoming Minister : Civil Defence" (PDF). Dia.govt.nz. October 2005. Retrieved 2015-09-20.
- "Vote Emergency Management" (PDF). Treasury.govt.nz. Retrieved 2015-09-20.
- Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (1990). "Civil Defence in New Zealand: A Short History" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2017.
- Shirley Mattingly (2007). "Policy, Legal and Institutional Arrangements" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- Jack Elder (5 August 1999). "New moves to protect communities". Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Vote Emergency Management" (PDF). 2003. p. 516. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Valedictory statement of Hon Jack Elder". 7 October 1999. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- Nikki Kaye (31 March 2014). "Civil defence moves to Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet". Beehive.govt.nz. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- Jonathan Coleman; Nikki Kaye (19 November 2013). "MCDEM shift will strengthen emergency management and resilience". Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "About the Ministry". Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017.