LGNZ taking a lead on natural hazards

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) welcomes the United Nations’ new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that details the likely impacts of environmental changes on people’s vulnerability to natural hazards.

The report raises questions for local communities and councils about how they could be affected in future by rising sea levels, reduced crops, droughts and increased flood risks.

LGNZ President, Lawrence Yule, says local government will be taking a leadership role in responding to the impacts of climate change, along with other natural hazards, recognising these will vary around the country.

LGNZ intends to do so within a broader framework which it will seek to develop with central government.

Accordingly, LGNZ and its regional councils are currently preparing a paper that looks at the management of natural hazards including those exacerbated by climate change.

“We need to look more broadly at the range of long-term risks, opportunities and changes affecting our communities as a result of natural hazards and climate change. Climate change is just one factor influencing natural hazard impacts on our communities,” Mr Yule says.

“Local government is seeking to work closely with central government to look at solutions for natural hazards that enable implementation at a local and regional level.”

LGNZ has been advocating for an elevation of natural hazards in the Resource Management Act to recognise the likely impacts of climate change.

The discussion paper LGNZ is preparing covers both the meteorological risks, including climate change, and geological risks that communities live with. It will be published shortly.