New Zealand Government releases first National Adaptation Plan

The New Zealand Government has today released the first National Adaptation Plan (NAP), a plan for adapting to the irreversible effects of climate change in New Zealand for the period 2022-2028.

The plan focuses on addressing the 43 priority risks from climate change identified in the government’s 2020 National Climate Change Risk Assessment.

This initial NAP is important because it lays out the pivotal first steps New Zealand will take on its adaptation journey. Future adaptation action will be based on the foundations that are described in this first NAP.  

For more on the National Adaptation Plan, visit the Manatū mō te Taiao Ministry for the Environment website here - https://environment.govt.nz/news/national-adaptation-plan-released/

Key takeaways include:

  • The Plan brings together in one place, more than 120 government actions – some of which are already underway. These actions support adaptation in several areas (including the built environment and the economy).
  • It states that the costs of adaptation will be shared between asset and property owners, local and central government, insurance companies and banks.
  • The government will develop new legislation (the Climate Adaptation Act) to address managed retreat.
  • The NAP does not provide definitive answers on:
    • who will pay for damage and the cost to adapt to climate change
    • how to fairly require people to leave their homes (where homes are at high risk).

Beca’s submission on the draft plan

Beca submitted on the draft NAP asking for ‘urgency in NAP implementation together with targets and accountability’. It is pleasing to see the final NAP outlining some more specific references to implementation progress than first anticipated. This should allow easier tracking of achievement against the actions required to move New Zealand to a more resilient future.

However, many of the plan’s critical actions will not commence for several years – for example the Climate Adaptation Act is not expected to become law until 2026. This is a long timeframe for a key piece of legislation, and so it will be important that progress is made towards adaptation in the meantime.

Importance of collaboration

Collaboration is going to be key in achieving the adaptation action required. The Plan acknowledges that various parties have a role to play in building resilience, including:

  • Central government
  • Local government
  • Māori
  • Communities
  • Private sector.

Beca is skilled in both assessing the climate change risks faced by diverse parties, as well as connecting different stakeholders to achieve coordinated adaptation responses.

To find out more about Beca’s climate adaptation services, please contact Cushla Loomb, Business Director - Climate Resilience, via Cushla.loomb@beca.com

For more on what Beca is doing to support our clients and communities to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges, please visit - https://www.beca.com/sustainability