What to expect on deployments

Every disaster or emergency is different and many factors affect the conditions that you may face during a deployment.
Hours can be long and assignments are sometimes physically and emotionally challenging. Duty hours can be 12- or 16-hour shifts. Normal and ample accommodations may be available on some deployments but on others accommodations may be more austere.
Flexibility and personal preparedness are the key element to success as a deployed NZMAT personnel.

Length of deployment

In most cases, the maximum deployment is 14 days plus travel days as required. There is a possibility that deployments maybe extended depending on the needs of the mission. It is your responsibility to coordinate your volunteer time with the needs of your family, employer and/or any other obligations you may have

Leaving on deployment

The Ministry of Health’s National Health Coordination Centre (NHCC) or CM Health will arrange travel and accommodation, including any stopover accommodation enroute. Most NZMAT deployments will depart from Auckland where personnel will be briefed and issued with appropriate uniform and personal equipment.


Prior to departure personnel will be issued with a NZMAT ID badge and uniform. NZMAT personnel are required to wear their issued identification items and ID badge whenever engaging in an NZMAT deployment. Loss of these items on deployment is to be reported immediately to the Mission Lead / Team Lead. NZMAT personnel will not be allowed at a disaster/emergency site without proper identification.

Deployment-related expenses
Travel, accommodation and general living expenses will be arranged by the Ministry of Health or the lead DHB, so, as a general rule, NZMAT personnel will not incur deployment-related expenses. However, if you incur unavoidable deployment-related expenses the Ministry of Health or lead DHB will reimburse these when proof of expenditure is supplied. Prior approval for all deployment related expenses should be obtained wherever possible.


The Ministry of Health will organise for health and travel insurance for international deployments. It is your own responsibility to provide for and maintain your professional indemnity insurance.

Team Structure

Notice of NZMAT deployment

You will be assigned to a NZMAT team based your skill set and the response requirements. Each NZMAT team with more than two personnel will have a team lead who reports directly through to the NZMAT Mission Lead.
Size of team
The size of the team deployed may vary from 5 – 40 personnel depending on the specific needs of the mission. The size of a NZMAT will depend on the events size, location and nature of the medical assistance request received from the local health authority domestically or internationally.
Role of NZMAT personnel
Your background, training and skills will help determine your potential role within the team. Once trained and as you gain deployment experience you may be offered key positions, such as Team Lead. Every attempt will be made to match your skills, competencies and license or credential level with assignments during a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. However, you may be asked to assist with activities that are less challenging than your usual professional activities.