National State of Emergency Declared

14 Feb 2023, 9:31 AM

The New Zealand Government has this morning declared a National State of Emergency, to assist in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

The Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, signed the declaration at 8.43am.

Prior to signing the declaration he advised the Prime Minister, and the Opposition spokesperson for emergency management, who were both supportive of the declaration.

The declaration will apply to the six regions that have already declared a local State of Emergency: Northland, Auckland, Tairāwhiti, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawkes Bay.

This is only the third time in New Zealand history that a National State of Emergency has been declared.

“This is an unprecedented weather event that is having major impacts across much of the North Island,” Kieran McAnulty said.

“Since Sunday, NEMA have been in close contact with local civil defence emergency management (CDEM) teams of affected areas to assess the need of a declaration of a state of National Emergency.

“NEMA has been giving advice to myself and the Prime Minister on the need of a national State of Emergency based on the assessments of the local teams, and until now the advice has been that it was not necessary.

“NEMA met with the affected CDEM groups. Based on feedback from the groups and NEMA

I consider that the criteria have now been met and a National State of Emergency would be beneficial.

“The local leadership, CDEM groups, and emergency responders in all of the affected areas have been doing an outstanding job, but the widespread damage caused by this cyclone means we need a National declaration to support them.

“This declaration will enable the Government to support the affected regions, provide additional resources as they are needed, and help set the priorities across the country for the response.

“A National State of Emergency gives the National Controller legal authority to apply resources across the country in support of a national level response. 

“This declaration gives us the ability to coordination further resources for affected regions. I want to emphasise that the Government has already been surging support and resources to the regions for some days.”