New Zealand’s Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment 2023 Report

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New Zealand’s Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment 2023 Report

The New Zealand Lifelines Council (NZLC) is proud to release the 2023 edition of the Aotearoa-New Zealand Critical Infrastructure: A National Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment 2023.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of New Zealand’s critical lifelines infrastructure and its resilience (and conversely its vulnerability) to major hazards.

Lifelines are the essential infrastructure and services that support our community – utility services such as water, wastewater and stormwater, electricity, gas, telecommunications, and transportation networks, including road, rail, airports and ports.

First produced in 2017 and updated in 2020, the 2023 edition updates all sections of the report and strengthens previous reports with:

  • Expanded scope of ‘critical infrastructure sectors to include sections on Flood Protection, Solid Waste, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), and Financial Payments.
  • Development of the definition, criteria, and identification of Critical National Infrastructure.
  • Increased focus on the needs of customers and communities and their ability to contribute to overall resilience improvements.
  • Expanded section on climate change implications for national infrastructure and mitigation/adaptation pathways.

This report focuses on the resilience and vulnerabilities of traditional ‘lifeline utilities’, broadened in scope in this edition, and now referred to as critical (‘essential and enabling’) infrastructure.

Enabling infrastructure provides services that other infrastructure needs to function (interdependencies). Other essential services, such as hospitals and financial services that depend on lifelines infrastructure to operate, are recognised as ‘critical customers’.

The report intends to provide a unique strategic perspective of all infrastructure services (including energy, transport, telecommunications, and water) as they act in combination to support the well-being of New Zealanders, stimulate awareness, particularly concerning interdependencies, and drive a change in approach to prioritising resilience investment in infrastructure, to meet our community needs best.

The use of this report by government, local authorities, utility service providers, researchers, communities and individuals is welcomed and encouraged. This is a national resource and an international exemplar. We hope you find it useful.

You can download the report by clicking the following links:

A National Lifeline Utilities Forum will also be held at Te Papa in Wellington on the 26th and 27th of October, 2023. The NZLC invites attendees from critical infrastructure organisations (lifeline utilities and critical customers), regional Lifelines Groups, the CDEM Sector, research agencies and others working to improve New Zealand’s infrastructure resilience and the well-being of our communities to attend the Forum.

Click the button below to learn more about the Forum and register.

About the New Zealand Lifelines Council

The NZLC’s mission “is connecting lifeline utility organisations across agency and sector boundaries to improve infrastructure resilience.”

It has two major activities, including organising a yearly National Lifeline Utilities Forum every October or November and publishing the National Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment every three years, the latest of which is this year’s report update.

As well as national planning and reporting, the NZLC supports regional group activity and provides a link to government agencies. 

NZLC members consist of the following members from telecommunications, power and gas, road transportation, water sector, central government agencies and Crown Research Institutes (CRIs):

  • Spark NZ Limited
  • Transpower New Zealand Ltd
  • New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Vector Limited
  • First Gas Limited
  • Water New Zealand
  • National Emergency Management Agency
  • Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
  • Earthquake Commission
  • GNS Science


New Zealand Lifelines Council. Retrieved from

New Zealand Lifelines Council. National Emergency Management Agency. Retrieved from

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