New report finds how NZ must adapt to effects of Climate Change

Central and Local Government New Zealand are welcoming a new report by Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group which includes recommendations on what New Zealanders must do to adapt to the effects of climate change and become climate resilient.

Local Government New Zealand says the new report will equip New Zealanders on how to better adapt to climate change. LGNZ President Dave Cull says "It's long overdue that central and local government got together on this."

The report released on Thursday titled Adapting to Climate Change in New Zealand focuses on risk assessment and management, what Minister Shaw says offers a significant shift from previous approaches to dealing with climate change. "I think that what this does establishes the frame work for a nationwide programme of adaptation over the coming decades and that's something that has been missing, that's something that local government has been asking for."

"In New Zealand we have tended to have a point-in-time assessment of risks, rather than one where you are constantly assessing risks and adapting as you go and of course the risks of climate change is we don't know when it's going to happen."

National Party Spokesperson for Climate Change Todd Muller also welcomed the new report but expressed concerns the Government had not set aside any new funding in Budget 2018 to ensure that the recommendations of the report could be implemented. "The overall direction of creating a more structured framework for climate change adaptation I support and think is sound and indeed this report was commissioned by the previous National Government."

According to a 2014 report by Ministry of Primary Industries with almost 50% of the total Māori asset base invested in climate sensitive primary industries, Māori business economy was vulnerable to climate induced impacts.

Minister Shaw says "We're very conscious that Māori interests are particularly exposed because of the land based sectors, the sighting of many marae, papakainga housing and so on and so that's very important to us."

The report will go to public consultation over the coming weeks.