Civil Defence and Emergency Management

Civil Defence

Civil Defence is not an organisation as such, but a system of coordinating emergency management. It's a way communities, organisations and government work together to get ready and get through an emergency. In this way, we are all Civil Defence.

Civil Defence professionals are here to coordinate the emergency services, welfare service agencies, utility companies and the community during an emergency. But because you are Civil Defence too, you need to make sure you can take care of yourself and people you care about when there is an emergency.


Matamata-Piako Civil Defence and Emergency Management

Our Council has a duty under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 to provide Civil Defence and Emergency Management services within its boundaries and ensure that it is able to function to the fullest possible extent, even though this may be at a reduced level, during and after an emergency.

Our staff receive training to form the Emergency Response Team. These response staff have been trained in Emergency Management, Emergency Operations Centre & Welfare Centre operations and are ready to respond at any time.

We are also a part of the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group which includes ten other local authorities within the Waikato Region. This group provides guidance, hazard information, strategic support and operational advice to our council during, before and after an emergency. Find out more about the group on the Waikato Civil Defence Group website.


Get Ready, Get Thru

Disasters can happen quickly, and we can’t prevent them but there are steps everyone can take to reduce their impact and recover quickly. It is important to know what you must do before you have to do it.

In some cases, such as a weather related or volcanic disaster, there may be time for a warning. But an earthquake or a tsunami close to land could strike without warning.

All disasters have the potential to cause disruption, damage property and take lives. So it's vital that you prepare now.

For more information including information on how to get ready go to the Get Ready Website


What to do in an emergency

Many disasters will affect essential services and possibly disrupt your ability to travel or communicate with each other. You may be confined to your home, or forced to evacuate your neighbourhood. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, emergency services will not be able to get help to everyone as quickly as needed.

This is when you are likely to be most vulnerable. So it is important to plan to look after yourself and your loved ones for at least three days or more in the event of a disaster.

Disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods and storms can strike at any time, sometimes without warning. All disasters have the potential to cause disruption, damage property and take lives.

You can learn about the hazards that affect us in the Matamata-Piako District and in the Waikato Region on the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Website.


Where to find information in an emergency

In a local emergency we will use the following channels to keep you informed:

  • This website (for local emergencies)
  • Our Facebook page (
  • Radio - we work with Radio New Zealand, Newstalk ZB, and Classic Hits. To find radio frequencies in your area go to
  • Text messaging (see below for how to subscribe to text alerts)
  • Antenno – go to our Antenno page to find out more about the app


Subscribe for text alerts

You can subscribe to receive emergency text alerts from Council (such as civil defence warnings/updates, or major problems such as water main breaks).

To sign up, simply text any of the following options to 5801:

  • ‘subscribe emergency’ for emergency alerts for the whole district
  • ‘subscribe matamata’ for emergency alerts for the Matamata area
  • ‘subscribe morrinsville’ for emergency alerts for the Morrinsville area
  • ‘subscribe tearoha’ for emergency alerts for the Te Aroha area (there is no space in the keyword tearoha


Fire Safety

Fire safety is everyone's business. Find out more about keeping your friends, family and colleagues safe from fire here.

Our Council no longer issues fire permits, this is the responsibility of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Go to their website if you wish to apply for afire permit.