An agreement signed today between New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will strengthen global emergency management capability, says Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty.
“The Government is committed to continually strengthening our emergency management system, and this Memorandum of Cooperation will help to bolster disaster resilience and reduce disaster risk in both countries,” said Minister McAnulty.
“New Zealand and the United States have a lot in common in regards to the hazards we face, our emergency management structures, and the important role indigenous communities play in emergency response and recovery.”
He said the agreement will allow the sharing of best practices and lessons learned from past emergencies, contributing to a more disaster resilient global community.
“Over the past two decades, disasters have increased in number and severity, requiring greater international cooperation and stronger international relationships – in this changing global environment it is crucial New Zealand builds and maintains effective engagement with the rest of the world,” said Mr McAnulty.
“This relationship is not a new one. Our emergency management agencies have had close relationships for many years and supported each other during times of crisis. In 2018 we deployed fire personnel to help combat wildfires in the US, and we will always be grateful for the support the United States provided following the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.”
The Memorandum of Cooperation will formalise information and data sharing between the two nations and boost opportunities to engage in joint research, as well as conferences, workshops, and exercises, the Minister said.
“Today’s agreement is part of NEMA’s work as an internationally recognised leader in emergency management. NEMA supports Emergency Management initiatives in the global arena with a specific focus on the Pacific and our commitments under the United Nations and regional frameworks.”
“New Zealand has a number of international arrangements in place already such as the NEMA Pacific Disaster Risk Management Programme which supports Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau to strengthen their disaster risk management capabilities.
“I welcome this new agreement to reinforce emergency management cooperation between our two countries,” said Mr McAnulty.