How NZ responds to online crises

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) leads New Zealand’s Online Crisis Response Process. This is a key initiative that facilitates the rapid assessment and coordinated response to an online crisis, and the sharing of information in a secure and timely manner between government agencies, industry, online services providers and civil society.

What is an online crisis?

An online crisis is described as ‘A piece of significantly harmful (highly likely to be ‘objectionable’) online content that has broad spread both geographically and/or across multiple platforms, and is likely to create significant harm for New Zealanders who are exposed to it’.

This response connects to the international processes developed through the Christchurch Call Crisis Response Protocol, the European Union (EU) Crisis Protocol, and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) Content Incident Protocol.

The process has three levels. Activation of each level is determined by two key factors: the consequence of harm to New Zealanders and the virality of the content.

Risk level (and section of matrix)



Activate an online crisis response. Example: The Christchurch Terrorist Attacks.

Increased Monitoring

Apply normal DIA business as usual (BAU) operating procedures as well as ongoing monitoring. Example: The Halle Attack.


Apply normal BAU operational procedures and relevant agency, industry and government actions. This risk level will apply for most content on the Internet that does not meet the criteria for a crisis.

For more information, see: New Zealand Online Crisis Response Process (PDF, 879KB)