Risk and crisis management

Risk management is vital, given New Zealand’s propensity to natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and severe weather events. Both the tourism industry and destinations must plan for such events, undertake risk assessments and pre-plan and practise response strategies.

New Zealand has developed a National Disaster Resilience Strategy for all who live in, work in or visit our country. This outlines the long-term goals for Civil Defence Emergency Management.

National Disaster Resilience Strategy(external link) — National Emergency Management Agency


  • Are we familiar with the National Disaster Resilience Strategy and ‘What Can You Do?' fact sheets?
  • Have we planned for possible natural or man-made disasters?
  • Are there good communication systems and stakeholder engagement in this area?
  • Are there specific management plans in place for key ‘hot spots’ within your destination – that is, the places that are under pressure and where visitor safety is potentially at risk?
  • Do we know the key contacts at the emergency services providers who can offer support, especially if visitors are affected?
  • How will we respond to an emergency? Are the roles and functions determined and tested?
  • What are our destination’s key messages in times of disaster?
  • Can/do we stay connected with the Visitor Sector Emergency Advisory Group in times of national disaster or with our local Civil Defence Emergency Management group during local emergencies?
Christchurch Cathedral and sculpture at night

Case study

Visitor Sector Emergency Advisory Group (VSEAG)

VSEAG works to ensure that the needs of international visitors to New Zealand are accounted for in emergency planning. VSEAG’s membership includes representatives from the tourism industry, local government, central government and other agencies who work with international visitors, including the education sector.

During an emergency, VSEAG members use their networks to make sure visitors to New Zealand and international audiences receive timely and accurate information about the event. This makes sure our visitors know where it is safe to travel, and can help protect New Zealand’s reputation as an international visitor destination. VSEAG can mobilise the tourism sector’s resources to assist with national and local responses, and improve the visitor sector’s resilience to emergencies.

Last updated: 20 January 2022