Preparing for a pandemic

In the event of a pandemic or emergency in New Zealand , the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand wants all synods, presbyteries, UDCs, parishes, and individual parishioners to be prepared with their own action plans. The aim for parishes will be to be prepared to provide advice, care and support to members before, during and after an event, and, where possible, to assist others looking for spiritual, emotional and pastoral support to help them stay connected to their world during the various stages. The local church will be one of the key support networks in each community.

Download a letter from the Moderator and Assembly Executive Secretary

So what can we do?

We can educate

Information packs are available from a range of government organisations on how to prepare for a pandemic or emergency event. For an information pack on influenza pandemics please email For information on preparing for emergency events please click on the following link to go to the Civil Defence website: For information on developing a business continuity plan for your parish please click on the following link for the Ministry of Economic Development website:

We can assure

The Ministry of Civil Defence have indicated there is a real possibility that communities could breakdown in the event of an outbreak or emergency. Parishes have an opportunity to encourage their local communities to work together peacefully in a time of difficulty.

We can care for each other and our communities

There will be a need for pastoral care during a pandemic or emergency – we need to think of how we are going to support and resource our ministers and elders. There will also be a need for parishioners to help with:

  • Telephone/email trees – calling on those who live alone or are less able to look after themselves to make sure they are okay and to alert authorities where the person requires medical care, as they will be most at risk.
  • Food banks – many parishes will be able to provide food, but we need to be aware that most people will not have planned adequately for a pandemic and we may need to provide food from our own homes.
  • Checking on the neighbours –New Zealand is going to get through a pandemic is by each household checking on the neighbours either side of them and across the road, and obtaining help for those who need it.
  • Get involved locally. Find out what your Civil Defence plan is for your area – are there any ways your parish could assist?

Tell us what you’re doing

If your parish has identified an idea for assisting your community let us know! It is through sharing ideas amongst the wider Church that we can assist each other to be prepared for whatever the future may bring.

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