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Climate change and older New Zealanders: Have your say on the draft national adaptation plan

We’re consulting on a draft national plan to help Aotearoa New Zealand adapt to and minimise the harmful impacts of climate change.

We’re asking for feedback from all communities, including older people, on the draft plan.

Consultation will close at 11:59pm on 3 June 2022.

Read the full consultation document and the draft national adaptation plan, and have your say.

The national adaptation plan

The Government is putting together a new plan to help New Zealanders adapt to the effects of climate change now, and better protect us against changes to come.

Many impacts are already with us, with unstable and unpredictable weather, worsening floods, droughts and storms, changes in the environment and rising sea levels around coastlines. Some changes are already locked in and can’t be reversed, which is why the Government is creating a plan that will help us adapt to what is happening today and better prepare us for future risks.

The national adaptation plan sets out what actions the Government will take over the next six years to help all New Zealanders adapt and thrive in a changing climate. It has actions relevant to every sector and community in New Zealand and addresses the priority risks that need action now.

We’re asking for feedback from all communities, including older people, on the draft plan. We want to make sure the final plan, due to be published in August, has your input.

Managing risk now and for the future

In 2020, the National Climate Change Risk Assessment set out the main risks New Zealanders face from the impacts of climate change up to 2026.

These include risks to people, like health or property, risks to our infrastructure and economy, like broken roads or water supply, and risks to our natural environment and future generations.

The national adaptation plan is an all-of-government plan about what we will do to manage these risks as we adapt to a different and changing climate.

Why this plan affects you

Everyone is affected by climate change. But some people are more vulnerable to the damaging effects than others. We must make sure the national adaptation plan meets their needs.

Some older people will be more dependent on the help of others during a climate-related emergency. They may be reluctant to leave their home during an emergency, and less able to leave safely during an event such as a flood.

Older people may also experience more frequent and severe health problems from excessive heat, cold or damp, and be more vulnerable to the loss of social, cultural and support networks caused by climate-related disruption.

Many older people also have a strong commitment to fighting the impacts of climate change for the sake of the planet their children and grandchildren will live in.

Please give us your feedback

We want to know what you think of the actions within the national adaptation plan and to hear your suggestions about what may be missing or not needed.

You might want to focus on the following chapters and actions.

Communities

The ‘Communities’ chapter sets out how we’ll support all communities around New Zealand, including older people, to help them adapt to climate change now and in the future. Its actions draw together funding, information and strengthening all communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. A particular action that might interest you is:

  • Develop a Health National Adaptation Plan: this will work alongside the national adaptation plan and will prepare the health sector to meet the needs of communities affected by climate change. A crucial part of this work is identifying the groups that are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and considering them, alongside risk, in health adaptation planning.

Homes, buildings and places

This chapter is about how to protect and maintain the stability, safety and cultural and personal value of our homes, marae, urban environments and community spaces in the face of climate change impacts. Actions include researching the impacts of climate change on different types of housing, and how to adapt, and reducing climate-related risk for community housing properties and tenants.

Let us know what you think of the plan

Please take the opportunity to have your say on the draft national adaptation plan. You can make a submission until Friday 3 June. We want to hear your views on how well the plan meets your needs.

Read the draft national adaptation plan

Read our consultation material

Read the plan summary

Make a submission

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