Council adopts revised climate change assumption for Long Term Plan 05 February 2018 A potential sea-level rise of up to 1.88m by 2150 will be taken into account for all major infrastructure projects proposed as part of our Council's 2018-2028 Long Term Plan (LTP). At its meeting last week, our Council approved revised government guidelines based on forecasting assumptions the Ministry for the Environment published in December 2017. The document, Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance for Local Government 2017, is available from the Ministry for the Environment website. "Central government needs to take the lead and set the direction, including providing mechanisms to help local governments financially," says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. "So much of this type of risk is directed and controlled through a national legislative framework and small councils like ours will need help," says Mayor Sandra. "But our communities need to be aware of these changes also and we encourage our residents and ratepayers to consider how continued weather events might impact them." All major infrastructure proposed in the LTP will be tested against the projected sea level rise scenarios as advised within the guidance. The LTP is being put together now and will go out for public consultation from 16 March to 16 April. Further work is required to understand how best the guidance should be applied to our Council's land use planning rules, especially as they apply to greenfield development and coastal subdivision. We will work closely with the Waikato Regional Council and Ministry for the Environment to make sure we are applying the guidance appropriately. (Graph: Ministry for the Environment sea-level rise projection scenarios) Meanwhile, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is advocating for a central government fund to help local councils adapt to climate change. LGNZ represents the interests of councils and works to foster best practice in the local government sector. LGNZ is also advocating for mechanisms to help local government understand and address the risks of climate change. By April, LGNZ intends to complete a report on the impacts of sea level rise on local government infrastructure and assets, including quantification of replacement value. They're also working on a legal framework for climate change adaptation decision-making and an adaptation options paper.