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Our role

Natural Hazards Commission Toka Tū Ake aims to reduce the impact on people and property when natural disasters occur, by protecting homeowners and helping them recover from natural hazard events.

The Natural Hazards Insurance Act 2023 (NHI Act) has replaced the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 as our governing legislation.

The NHI Act sets out our organisation’s primary objective: to reduce the impact of natural hazards on people, property and the community.    

We want to ensure New Zealanders have access to affordable natural hazard insurance, and that communities continue to increase their resilience to natural disasters.

We do this by providing the first layer of residential land and building insurance cover for a range of natural hazards, and through careful administration of the Natural Hazard Fund. New Zealanders can have confidence their claims will be paid because NHCover is funded by levies, reinsurance and a Crown guarantee.    

Building resilience to natural hazard events has long been a core part of our role. Our new legislation has increased that focus, making clear our role in informing, enabling and influencing decisions that can reduce Aotearoa New Zealand’s vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards. 

Part of that is increasing community resilience, and we invest in research, and promote education and awareness aimed at preventing or minimising the impacts of natural hazard events. 

How we carry out our role

As a Crown Entity, the Crown Entities Act 2004 establishes the way we work, while the NHI Act sets out our roles and functions.

Our core functions:

  • facilitate research and education, and contribute to the sharing of information, knowledge and expertise on natural hazard risks, impacts and resilience
  • collect the levy for the insurance provided under the NHI Act, and manage the Natural Hazard Fund, including by investing in the Fund in accordance with the NHI Act; arrange reinsurance or other risk transfer products in respect of all or part of NHCover
  • administer NHCover when claims arise.

You can read more about our strategic objectives, outputs and outcomes in our Statement of Intent.

Our role following a natural disaster

Although NHC Toka Tū Ake is not a first responder, we have an important role to play in responding to a natural hazard event and supporting community recovery.

Insurance support for impacted homeowners is a critical part of a community’s recovery. We work closely with our insurance partners, central and local government, and the emergency management sector to ensure we can rapidly build an understanding of the scale of damage, and the vulnerabilities and needs of communities after an event, so we’re able to provide a coordinated recovery effort.

Information-gathering is critical to this, and we use loss modelling, field reconnaissance, claims data, and data from GeoNet and other science monitoring to gather and share critical information that helps to inform the response planning.

Night time street scene of a flooded Auckland street
Natural Hazard Fund

The Natural Hazard Fund exists to make sure that claims for damage can be paid out in the event of a natural hazard event.

Top down view of house and land
About natural hazards cover

Our natural hazards cover provides the first layer of insurance cover for your home, and limited cover for your land.

our partnership wit insurers
Our partnership with insurers

We work with most private insurers to simplify the process for making a claim for natural hazard damage.