Establishment of Ministry of Civil Defence
In 1959 the Ministry of Civil Defence was established within the Department of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Internal Affairs being appointed Minister of Civil Defence. The Secretary for Internal Affairs was appointed Director of Civil Defence.
Civil defence planning in New Zealand is based on the proposition that protection of the local populace is primarily a function of the territorial local authorities. This has been recognised statutorily since 1953. The role of the Ministry lies in national planning, in coordinating Central Government resources nationally and regionally, in using those resources in support of local authority action, in coordinating and advising local authorities, in instructing local controllers, and in public education activities.