Our recommendations

Co-ordination of the all-of-government response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Our recommendations are designed to help enhance both the response to Covid-19 and New Zealand’s wider readiness for emergencies and crises.

We recommend that the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, National Emergency Management Agency, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, the Ministry of Health, and other relevant organisations continue to work together to:

  1. ensure that there is central co-ordination and clear roles and responsibilities for:
    • government agencies to keep emergency management plans up to date and consistent with agreed standards, current guidance, and other best practice;
    • implementing improvements from regular emergency management exercises and other evaluations of emergency readiness; and
    • monitoring progress in implementing those improvements;
  2. ensure that key staff maintain a good understanding of all-of-government strategic crisis management, hazard risk management, and emergency management frameworks, including relevant legislation and guidance on lessons management;
  3. develop and maintain workforce plans for sustainably staffing long-term emergency responses (which should include appropriate mechanisms for recruitment, redeployment, training, and supporting staff well-being);
  4. demonstrate how they are making improvements during an ongoing response by:
    • systematically identifying lessons, taking action, and monitoring progress;
    • seeking independent expertise and acting on that advice, as appropriate; and
    • reporting the findings of reviews publicly in a timely and accessible way, including whether they have implemented recommendations;
  5. improve the transparency of, and engagement with the public on, risk, readiness, and response arrangements to inform strategic policy, planning, investment, and resourcing decisions; and
  6. provide regular assurance to Parliament about the public sector’s readiness for major disruptive events, including how they have implemented our recommendations.