Classifying adverse events

MPI classifies adverse events (which include natural disasters, severe weather, and biosecurity incursions) as either localised, medium-, or large-scale events.


What is an adverse event?

Adverse events may include:

  • storms
  • droughts
  • floods
  • snow storms
  • volcanic eruptions
  • earthquakes
  • biosecurity incursions.

How MPI assesses events

MPI assesses each adverse event based on the:

  • options available for farmers to prepare for the event   
  • magnitude of the event (likelihood and scale of physical impact)
  • capacity of the community to cope (economic and social impact).

When an adverse event occurs, MPI consults with:

  • regional policy agents
  • rural support trusts
  • relevant regional and/or district councils
  • local civil defence emergency management groups
  • industry organisations
  • other government agencies.

Based on the information collected, MPI advises the Minister for Primary Industries on the scale of the event, and the Government will decide what support to provide. An adverse event may be declared a civil defence emergency by a local council.

The Primary Sector Recovery Policy sets out government's recovery assistance for farmers following a climatic event, natural disaster or biosecurity incursion.

Examples of adverse events

Localised events

  • 2014 – Ex-Cyclone Ita
  • 2013 – Whanganui floods
  • 2013 – Canterbury windstorm

Medium-scale events

  • 2013 – 'Big Dry' North Island and West Coast drought
  • 2007 – Northland storm
  • 2006 – Canterbury snow

Large-scale events

  • 2008 – national drought
  • 2004 – lower North Island floods
  • 1988 – Cyclone Bola
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