A draft report from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) — which was stamped for release in April — has been leaked. The purpose of the report is to help local governments manage coastal hazard risks, including those brought on by climate change.
As stated in The Press, the report concludes that $19 billion worth of buildings, about 43,000 homes, 130,000 people, five airports, more than 2000 kilometres of road and 46km of railway face “higher levels of coastal risk exposure” as a consequence of rising sea levels.
The report focuses on adaptation to three main types of hazard caused by storms and sea-level rise: coastal erosion, coastal inundation, and lowlands affected by salinisation and rising groundwater.
Victoria University of Wellington’s director of environmental studies, Ralph Chapman, told Radio NZ: “there’s a lot that local government and central government could have collaborated on… it’s now too little too late”. He also said that local government “needs to be thinking about how climate change can impact on coastal resources, for example, the land around that coast and flooding.
The leaked report has been covered by the media:
Stuff.co.nz: NZ needs to act now to protect people and property, leaked coastal erosion report urges
Radio NZ: About $19b of property at risk from climate change effects
TVNZ: Leaked report on climate change warns $19b worth of property at greater risk of flooding
Radio NZ : Govt coastal erosion efforts ‘too little, too late’