The high-level report, along with other technical information such as annual climatic and tectonic variations, will help Council work with communities to identify long term adaptation strategies.
“Councils and communities around New Zealand are starting to work together to assess and deal with the forecast effects of climate change,” says Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller. “This is an important conversation for our community as climate change will impact the way we live, work and play in Lower Hutt, and it will be vital that all voices are heard.”
“Hutt City Council will continue to raise the issue of climate change regionally, with other councils around New Zealand and at a national level with central government. Locally we’ll work with our communities, using the latest scientific evidence and data to inform the development of adaptation responses,” says Jo Miller.
In June Hutt City Council declared a climate emergency citing the need to raise awareness on climate change and to prioritise reducing council and city-wide emissions to net zero carbon. A city-wide zero carbon plan is currently being scoped.
Council is also preparing to engage with coastal communities to develop options for responding to climate change, in line with guidance from the Ministry for the Environment.
Earlier this month the New Zealand Productivity Commission called for more central government funding support for councils having to adapt to sea level rise and flooding. “This support is urgently required in some parts of the country and will be needed in the Wellington region over time,” says Jo Miller. “In addition Local Government New Zealand is recommending that central government establishes an independent expert group to set a new policy framework on climate change.”
Helen Oram, Hutt City Council’s Acting GM City Transformation, says that conversations at a local level will happen in alignment with the upcoming review of Hutt City’s District Plan and the development of a new overarching strategy which will deal with natural hazards and climate change.
“We plan to start engaging on the likely impacts of climate change and working with our communities on possible solutions in early 2020. Greater Wellington and other organisations like NIWA, GNS Science and Wellington Water will provide specialist expertise as we develop plans to support this work,” says Helen Oram.
Hutt City Council has been in discussions with councils around the region about how all territorial authorities can work together to respond to the main types of coastal hazards which are exacerbated by climate change.