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New Zealand’s National Security System provides for a coordinated government response in which:

  • Risks are identified and managed;
  • The response is timely and appropriate;
  • National resources are applied effectively;
  • Adverse outcomes are minimised;
  • Multiple objectives are dealt with together;
  • Agencies’ activities are coordinated.

Managing national security risk and supporting the country’s resilience is complex and involves a wide range of government agencies.

New Zealand’s recent history is filled with examples of complex national security events that required all-of-government management. The Canterbury earthquakes, the response to the blackmail threat to poison infant formula and the Rena grounding are recent examples.

New Zealand’s National Security System provides a mechanism for dealing with major crises or other situations requiring an all-of-government response.

Across New Zealand more generally, the system is able to facilitate the coordination of all sectoral, regional, and government capabilities where national planning or a national response is required. This approach helps to ensure that risks receive appropriate attention, the right capabilities are developed, and lessons are identified and learned from.

Local government, quasi-government agencies and the private sector also have increasingly important roles within national security. Effective high-level coordination of effort, particularly of our strategic direction and communication activity, is very important.

For more information download the National Security System Handbook (PDF, 1.11 MB)