7 Feb 2019
Engineering New Zealand welcomes the report by LGNZ: ‘Vulnerable: the quantum of local government infrastructure exposed to sea level rise.’
Unless we take clear, coordinated action together now to adapt to climate change, our future safety and prosperity is at risk.
The research by LGNZ and engineering firm Tonkin+Taylor shows just how exposed our infrastructure is to sea level rise. Local roads will also be significantly exposed as will the state highway network. Three waters infrastructure has the greatest exposure with wastewater and stormwater pipes representing the greatest potential costs. The full cost to central government and private sector property will be much greater.
Sea level rise is only one of the impacts of climate change. Heavier rainfall, more violent storms and drought are already disrupting our lives and overloading our infrastructure.
In our report Engineering a Better New Zealand, we recommend making some hard choices now about unsustainable locations. Adapting to the risk presented by climate change means local government stopping new development in locations with existing and increasing risk, and making tough calls about existing developments that are becoming untenable.
In our vision, the community is at the heart of New Zealand’s resilience. Taking action means valuing resilience and creating buildings, buildings, infrastructure and processes that protect people and property. If we rely solely on regulation, we won’t get there. If we rely on each other, work together in partnership, engage in tough conversations, innovate and have courage, then we will.