A risk assessment examines the likelihood of an event occurring and the consequences of it doing so. The climate risk assessment looks across the whole Buller district using the best available science to understand the potential for climate change to create harmful outcomes that impact on lives, livelihoods, health and wellbeing, property, infrastructure, and the natural environment.
In this section
Climate change adaptation planning
Kia ora koutou. Read about Council's work to address climate change issues, resilience, and the need for science-based adaptation planning to respond to the impact of climate change on our district.
In its Long-term Plan (LTP) 2021 – 2031, Council started the conversation with you about climate change issues, resilience, and the need for science-based adaptation planning.
Feedback received from the community confirmed that this is important and asked Council to commence work on climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning.
Key terms explained
Planning for and adjusting to climate risk and its effects is known as adaptation. It refers to actions that reduce the harmful outcomes, while taking advantage of possible new opportunities.
Proactively addressing climate risk will be cheaper in the long run than rebuilding after disaster strikes. Understanding climate risk and preparing for it helps to protect people and places from the mounting costs of climate change.
Understanding climate risk and making plans to address it is an important step for whanau, communities, organisations, and policymakers to take in the face of climate change. This requires a detailed assessment of both the hazard, and the likely impact on the things we value.
Climate change refers to long-term changes to average weather patterns. This includes changes to average temperatures, seasons, wind patterns and rainfall. The impacts of this can threaten our communities, where we live and work, and many of the things we care about.
Whether you live inland or on the coast, rurally or in a small settlement or town, nearly every community and person will be exposed to some level of risk from climate change – and many people across the Buller district already are.
Climate change hazards can include sea level rise, coastal flooding, coastal erosion, increased tsunami risk, groundwater changes, surface water flooding, river flooding, land slips, extreme wind, rising temperatures, heat waves, drought, wildfires, and marine heatwaves.
What have we been doing?
Council is taking a science-based approach to developing a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Buller; informed by a risk assessment based on the Local Climate Change Risk Assessment guide published by the Ministry for the Environment in September 2021.
In 2022 our project team started working with climate scientists and representative stakeholder groups to take a first pass look at climate risk across the whole district. The summary of this work will be available soon through this web page.
We have identified key pieces of scientific information that will enable us to accurately plan for climate hazards and we are working with NIWA and other scientists to fill the ‘science gaps’ that exist.
In 2023 we will begin engaging with you about what you care about and value in your community.
This web page will be used to help you find out what work has been completed, what climate risk information exists, what is happening across the district, and help you engage in this important work. We will also be using Council’s Connect newsletter, and other media channels such as Facebook, to keep you informed of engagement opportunities as the work continues.
If you would like to find out more about climate change please use the below resources.