Civil defence emergency relief at schools

Information about using your school property as a relief centre.

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  • Boards
  • Proprietors
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Property Managers
  • Local Council

Boards can decide whether their school will be a relief centre during an emergency. 


Schools can decide to serve as a relief centre in the event of a civil emergency. It is up to the school board to decide.

Acting as a relief centre could mean providing refuge in a school gymnasium, and may mean that during the year, your school will store emergency equipment.

Many schools have agreements with other organisations about being a relief centre.

Being a relief centre

If your school has an arrangement with another organisation, you will require a formal agreement.

It should cover:

  • what equipment is to be purchased and who will pay for it
  • where the equipment will be stored
  • what will happen if people and equipment have to relocate
  • what will happen if the school needs to reopen to students before the emergency is over
  • what will happen if the school is more damaged than the other organisation. In other words, you have an arrangement to use the other organisation’s premises if it is less damaged than your school.

Refer to the Lease agreements and application process page for more information about setting up an agreement.

Being requisitioned as a relief centre

Schools can be requisitioned as relief centres in emergencies. This is provided for in Section 90, Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002(external link). You do not need to have equipment and space set aside for this. You do not need a lease or licence in place if your school is requisitioned.

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