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National Risk Approach

The National Risk Approach is a key mechanism used across government to ensure a proactive and coordinated approach is taken to identify and manage the most significant risks to New Zealand’s national security.

We define a national risk as an uncertain, yet conceivable, event or condition that could have serious, long-term effects on New Zealand’s security and prosperity, requiring significant government intervention to manage.

The National Risk Approach helps us to proactively plan for and identify where there may be significant gaps, as well as opportunities, in the management of  nationally significant hazards and threats.

The aim of this approach is to enable the National Security System, and wider New Zealand society, to anticipate potential national risk events, reduce their likelihood and impact where possible, and be prepared to respond and recover from them if they occur.

The National Intelligence and Risk Coordination directorate oversees the National Risk Approach and maintains the classified National Risk Register.

The National Risk Register includes a diverse range of hazards and threats across several broad domains:

  • natural hazards
  • biological hazards
  • technological hazards
  • malicious threats
  • economic crisis.

Some examples of national risks that appear on the register include Terrorism, Foreign Interference, Major Cyber Incident, Transnational Organised Crime, Volcanic Activity, Pests and Diseases and Pandemic.

Click here to read about New Zealand's Nationally Significant Risks.

The National Risk Approach draws on international best practice and standards. The approach supports responsible government agencies to assess nationally significant risks, drawing on relevant evidence and subject matter expertise, and to identify opportunities to reduce risk and improve resilience.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

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