Although New Zealand has not experienced an influenza pandemic since 1969 the New Zealand health sector must be prepared to deal with the realities and consequences of such an event and have strategic action plans in place.
Depending on the extent and severity of the crisis, healthcare services would need to be managed and be able to provide services to large numbers of people. It is quite possible that they will be overwhelmed and other strategies would then need to be implemented.
On January 14 2002, the Ministry of Health, the National Pandemic Planning Committee, 21 District Health Boards and 13 Public Health Services participated in a nationwide pandemic response exercise.
The framework of the exercise and the lessons learned are documented in this report.