MBIE releases building emergency guide


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has published a handy guide to managing buildings in emergencies

Managing buildings in an emergency describes the roles and responsibilities of central and local government and other agencies for managing buildings in an emergency using the 4Rs framework – Readiness, Response, Recovery and Reduction.

It explains what is required, and provides detailed steps and checklists to help territorial authorities plan for, and carry out, rapid building assessments.

The guide is in three parts.

How buildings are managed in an emergency and who is responsible: 

  • describes the purpose and scope of the guide (section 1)
  • provides an overview of the process for managing buildings in an emergency, roles and responsibilities for doing so, and resources needed to support this (section 2)
  • outlines the core legislation for managing buildings in an emergency, and the roles and responsibilities for doing so (section 3).

Preparing for and managing buildings in an emergency:

  • Readiness – steps for territorial authorities, including developing a building assessment plan, identifying key people, and checking training and resources (section 4)
  • Response – establishing and managing a rapid building assessment operation, or carrying out other building checks as appropriate, placarding, cordoning, stabilising/demolition as necessary, seeking further information from building owners as necessary (section 5)
  • Recovery and risk reduction – monitoring damaged buildings, repairs, removing placards/cordons, learning from the event and implementing changes (section 6). 


  • References and resources for managing buildings in an emergency, including readiness and response checklists.


The guide is aimed at regional authorities, Heritage New Zealand, territorial authority, building owners, architects, building control officers, geotechnical engineers and structural engineers.