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Climate change and younger 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 young 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 national plan to help New Zealanders adapt to and live with the effects of climate change that are locked in and can’t be reversed: things like more frequent floods, drought and storms, and the damage they cause to places, people and property.

The draft national adaptation plan sets out what needs to happen so all New Zealanders can adapt and thrive in a different climate. It’s a comprehensive plan that draws together actions for every sector in New Zealand over the next six years.

We’re asking for feedback from all communities, including youth, on the draft plan. We want to make sure the final plan, due to be published in August, has your input. We want to understand how climate change impacts you.

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.

Young people today will be more disproportionately affected by all climate change impacts, because risks and impacts are likely to worsen and intensify over time.

Young people live with uncertainty about how much change to our climate will occur in the future and are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change today. Effects include disruptions to where they live, work or study and to their social and support communities and networks. Young people can also be more vulnerable to the emotional and psychological impacts of this disruption, and more susceptible to the health impacts of extreme temperatures.

What you’ve told us so far

Young people have told us that, to support your work to adapt to the locked-in impacts of climate change, you need:

  • resources, communications and products tailored to youth, made more accessible through social media, and ‘translated’ from policy
  • youth-directed information sharing platforms and portals
  • community-led initiatives, such as urban farming, local food loops and regenerative horticulture 
  • support for youth leadership in climate adaptation work
  • guidance on how to include mātauranga in adaptation measures.

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:

System-wide actions

This chapter is about ensuring adaptation work across all sectors is well coordinated, with the right supporting legislation and institutions. It also about clear, accessible data and information on climate change so everyone can understand the risks they face from climate change and plan for the future. An action that might interest you is:

  • Design and develop an Adaptation Information Portal: this will be a national hub of all available climate data and information, including information for iwi/Māori climate decisions and mātauranga Māori indicators. The goal is for New Zealanders from all sectors and communities to be able to understand and assess their climate risk, find solutions and share best practice.

Communities

This chapter sets out how we’ll support all communities around New Zealand, including young people, to help them adapt to climate change now and in the future. Actions that might interest you include:

  • Develop a Health National Adaptation Plan: this will complement the national adaptation plan and 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.
  • Continue with the reform of the health and disability system: the health and disability system is being restructured to be simpler and more coordinated, allowing for better and more consistent care that is shaped by the voices of consumers, communities and whānau, and much stronger institutional partnerships with iwi and Māori. This may be an important action for young people because they may be more susceptible to negative health outcomes associated with climate disruption.
  • Strengthen teaching and learning related to climate change: this about supporting local schools and marau ā-kura to include understanding and responding to climate change in their curricula with the goal being to support all children and young people to grow as lifelong learners, connected to the environment and communities, and actively involved in a sustainable future.

Homes, buildings and places

Homes, buildings and places addresses the risks climate change presents to the durability, safety, and cultural and personal value of our homes, marae, urban environments, community spaces and sites of significance, such as urupā. Proposals include ways to support households and businesses to assess and respond to climate-related risks.

An action that might interest you is build property resilience. This action will provide:

  • research to understand the impacts of climate hazards on various types of housing and options for adaptation, and to inform any future changes to building regulations and standards
  • property guidance to inform homeowners and renters about climate impacts and their options to manage and respond to risks
  • an assessment framework to help building owners, developers and new home builders to identify climate hazards for their property and understand their building’s adaptation requirements.

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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