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Activation of the national security system

Crises or events that impact New Zealand or its interests can occur at any time, and at a variety of scales.

The National Security System is activated when one or more of the following apply:

  • Increasing risk, or a disaster or crisis, affects New Zealand interests;
  • Active, or close coordination, or extensive resources are required;
  • The crisis might involve risk to New Zealand’s international reputation;
  • An issue is of large scale, high intensity or great complexity;
  • Multiple smaller, simultaneous events require coordination;
  • An emerging issue might meet the above criteria in the future, and would benefit from proactive management.

If the National Security System is activated it means that pre-arranged coordination mechanisms occur. These arrangements may include:

Examples of National Security System activations

  • Threat of 1080 contamination of infant formula;
  • Ebola viral disease readiness and possible Ebola case;
  • Neurological complications and birth defects possibly associated with Zika virus;
  • Threat of a domestic terrorist incident;
  • TS Rena grounding on Astrolabe Reef 2011;
  • Darfield Earthquake 2010 and Christchurch Earthquake 2011

For more information download the National Security System Handbook.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 25 August 2016

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