Pandemic Management

The aim of this project is to learn from past one-off events in order to be more resilient in the future.

In 2006, the Institute completed a report titled  Managing the Business Risk of a Pandemic: Lessons from the past and a checklist for the future (June 2006). This Report reviewed past epidemic and pandemic events in order to suggest ways to make New Zealand more resilient.

In 2015, as a result of the 2014/15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, we worked with Roger Dennis (Christchurch) and Rick Boven (Auckland) to produce the following report: New Zealand Supply Chain Resilience Report (also known as Lessons From the West African Ebola Outbreak in Relation to New Zealand’s Supply Chain Resilience) (2015). This report was sponsored by Z Energy Limited and Foodstuffs (NZ) Limited. See our contributing papers page to read this report.

Please note this page is still in progress.



The strategic aim of this paper is to add to the dialogue on managing a pandemic. This paper is broken up into four parts:

  • Part 1: Reviews lessons from history, including a study of 9/11, Chernobyl and other disasters in order to reveal effective management strategies for the eventuality of a pandemic.
  • Part 2: Explores the use of effective risk management strategies in the past.
  • Part 3: Explores New Zealand’s underlying strengths and weaknesses, and the dynamics of a pandemic marketplace.
  • Part 4: Poses a set of questions for organisations to answer, so that they can assess and manage the financial effects of a pandemic. The checklist is generic, rather than specific to any industry.

This project was generated as a result of a request for a paper for the Conferenz Bird Flu Pandemic – Business Continuity and Planning Update Conference in Auckland and Wellington on 24 and 31 May 2006, titled ‘Predicting and Planning for the Financial Impact on Your Business’. The resulting paper has been expanded and updated to reflect the additional knowledge gained from discussions with presenters and participants at the conference. Special acknowledgement must be made to the conference organiser, Kevin Smit, and the Chair, David Lumley, Chief Advisor, Strategic Management, Ministry of Economic Development.