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COVID-19 Group


The COVID-19 Group is responsible for integration of strategy and policy, system readiness and planning, insights and reporting, system risk and assurance, system wide response coordination and public engagement and communications. We also deliver a national communications and public engagement campaign — Unite against COVID-19.


Our mission is to mobilise the collective capacity of government to respond to and manage COVID-19 while sustaining our economy and social cohesion and ensuring lessons are learned and future preparedness is improved.


On 1 July 2020 the COVID-19 Group was established as a business unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC).

The response to COVID-19 has required a significant effort from across government and will continue to require a coordinated approach for some time to come as we transition to a more normal operating environment.

The business unit continues the enduring work of the National Crisis Management Centre following the centre's deactivation on 30 June 2020. It is mandated to coordinate, and where necessary lead, the All-of-Government response to the ongoing pandemic. This includes facilitating system wide lessons-learned workshops with response agencies to ensure that lessons from the experiences of the response are retained and built into future responses.

Structure and leadership

The Unit includes five teams with the following functions.

  • The Office of the Deputy Chief Executive provides support to the leadership regarding the operations of the COVID-19 Group (particularly corporate and business management functions), and support to the DCE for advice, briefings and coordination of the Group’s work. The Office also hosts an Insights and Reporting team who undertake analytical and reporting functions across the All-of-Government Response.
  • The Policy and Strategy team provides leadership and coordination of the overarching strategy for the COVID-19 response, and coordination and integration of advice on readiness and response activities across agencies. This team is responsible for coordinating the process to manage any changes to the response system (e.g. COVID-19 Protection Framework reviews). This team also supports an independent Ministerial Advisory Group to facilitate broader views and assurance for Ministers on New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.
  • The System Readiness and Planning team coordinates and convenes delivery agencies to ensure alignment of planning activities (including response planning), as well as operational response when required. This team administers the National Management Approach (NMA) when required, as well as testing system readiness for various scenarios.
  • The Communications and Public Engagement team provides leadership and coordination of public communications (including the Unite Against COVID-19 campaign), and coordination of stakeholder and community engagement.




Last updated: 
Thursday, 22 September 2022

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Level 8 Executive Wing
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(04) 830 5000

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