Civil Defence in the Taupo District

​​​​​​​​​The Role of Civil Defence

alternate textThe aim of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) is to ensure the safety of people, property and the environment. We do this by identifying significant hazards in the community, determining community vulnerability to these hazards, and building community resilience to recover from significant events. Civil Defence is a system of mobilising the full resources of the community to cope with disasters. 

Every city or district council is required by the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 to plan for emergencies. The council must also maintain a Civil Defence organisation and appoint someone as the Civil Defence controller. A civil defence emergency is declared, usually by the Mayor, when a disaster is so large that normal emergency services (police, fire and ambulance) cannot cope adequately and the safety of the public is at risk. Civil Defence aims to prevent, reduce, or overcome any hazard or harm or loss to the public or property that may be associated with any emergency.

The controller assumes control of the response effort once a Civil Defence emergency is declared. The Taupo District Emergency Management Team is based at our Taupo office. During an emergency the Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre would normally be set up in the our building.

Civil Defence is NOT an emergency service, but seen as a coordination provider between the Emergency Services and community resources.

If you are in danger or need help - ring 111

Where to find information in an emergency

Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 

The Taupo Emergency Management Plan describes how our emergency management team will respond to emergency incidents, including how it will fulfil its roles and responsibilities and how it will co-ordinate the community's response. This plan addresses the key points necessary to organise the response and refers to other plans/procedures that contain full details.

Civil Defence Recovery Plan

Communities that can quickly restore the everyday functions of life, such as returning to homes and re-opening businesses, will recover from emergencies more quickly. The aim of recovery is to increase the speed at which communities can resume normal activities. Recovery often lasts many times longer than response, involves a far greater level of planning and management and is a very complex process. For more information please see our Recovery Plan.

Key risks for Taupo district

Storms - Tropical storms, tornados and storm surges bring torrential rain, floods, strong winds and also tide fluctuations. Prepare your survival kit and secure any loose furniture or roofing and if you are in danger of flood, be prepared to flee to higher ground. 

Earthquakes - Earthquakes can not be predicted so you will need to prepare beforehand. Have your survival kit ready, secure heavy furniture and make sure you have earthquake insurance. During an earthquake do not run outside but take cover under a table, or in a doorway.  


 Volcano - Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngaurahoe and Mt Tongariro are active volcanoes and there is a risk of eruption.  During an eruption turn off electricity and gas, stay indoors or cover your head, mouth and eyes if you must go outside. Ash fall will cause major problems in our district in an eruption and will be a health hazard as well as potentially contaminating water supplies and blocking roads. Clear ash from cars and roofs if it is safe to do so, ensure you have a clean supply of water and try not to travel unless necessary.  

Lahar - The tephra dam at Mt Ruapehu crater Lake has a history of collapsing and causing a lahar to flow down the mountain. The natural path of the lahar is well documented and there are warning systems in place however if a lahar occurs without warning it can be dangerous for trampers and campers in the Whangaehu Valley and surrounding areas. Warning signs are in place and those entering this area are warned to be aware of the risk of lahar.

Tsunamis and Seiche - Tsunamis will not normally be a problem in the Taupo District, however we could be at risk for a seiche. A seiche could be caused by a major landslide which slips into the lake causing a big splash which could result in a large wave travelling across the lake. If there is a strong earthquake or landslide leave the beach or river immediately and move to higher ground, or at least one kilometre inland.

Learn more about what to do in the event of these natural disasters.

Page reviewed: 10 Jan 2018 11:24am