How we classify adverse events

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) classifies adverse events (which include natural disasters, severe weather, and biosecurity incursions) as either localised, medium-, or large-scale events.

What is an adverse event?

Adverse events may include:

  • storms
  • droughts
  • floods
  • snow storms
  • volcanic eruptions
  • earthquakes
  • biosecurity incursions.

How MPI assesses events

MPI assesses each adverse event based on the:

  • options available for farmers to prepare for the event   
  • magnitude of the event (likelihood and scale of the physical impact)
  • capacity of the community to cope (economic and social impact).

When an adverse event occurs, MPI consults with:

  • regional policy agents
  • rural support trusts
  • relevant regional and district councils
  • local civil defence emergency management groups
  • industry organisations
  • other government agencies.

Based on the information collected, MPI advises the Minister of Agriculture on the scale of the event, and the Government decides what support to provide. An adverse event may be declared a civil defence emergency by a local council.

Primary Sector Recovery Policy 

This policy sets out the Government's recovery assistance for farmers following an adverse event.

Download the Primary Sector Recovery Policy [PDF, 144 KB]

Who to contact

If you have questions about adverse events, email

Last reviewed: