Climate change adaptation

MfE says the proposed Climate Change Bill (previously the Zero Carbon Bill), which is intended to include the core recommendations of the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group (CCATWG), is expected to be introduced to the House in the middle of 2019. You will have a chance to provide your views on the Bill as part of the select committee process.

Work is underway to develop New Zealand’s first national climate change risk assessment (NCCRA) to improve our understanding of the nature and severity of the risks facing New Zealand. A panel of risk assessment experts will meet for the first time this month to begin developing a NCCRA framework. The framework is expected to be completed by mid-2019 and the first risk assessment by mid-2020.

The NCCRA will not fill any gaps in local-level information for councils, but will highlight significant information gaps nationally.  The NCCRA will inform prioritised adaptation action through the national adaptation plan. The plan will be the opportunity to partner with local government, iwi/Māori, business and sectoral interests to figure out how we’re going to address the risks.

Also, we are working through an interagency Community Resilience Group, led by the Department of Internal Affairs and involving LGNZ, to address other CCATWG recommendations. The Group’s programme has five work streams:

  • information to better support decision-making
  • enhanced use of risk assessment
  • alignment and adequacy of regulatory frameworks
  • facilitating adaptive responses by communities
  • ensuring effective insurance and risk markets.

The intention is to have a discussion with local government at the Central Government Local Government Forum later this year (timing to be confirmed) about how to take this work forward in partnership.

The potential role of national direction, such as a national policy statement or guidance to help councils manage risks (natural hazards and climate-related), will be considered as part of the Group’s work programme.

For more information, contact Lisa Niven (