SESSION THEME | Visions - Climate Change


Introducing the framework for Aotearoa New Zealand's 1st National Climate Change Risk Assessment

Wednesday 1 April,  

In 2019 the Ministry for the Environment set up an expert Panel to develop a fit-for -purpose climate-change risk assessment framework befitting the growing challenges we face in Aotearoa-New Zealand (A-NZ) from climate change. Arotakenga Huringa Āhuarangi - A Framework for National Climate Change Risk Assessment for Aotearoa New Zealand was published in September, and provides the framing for the 1st national-scale assessment of risks arising from climate change across the four well-beings and several domains/sectors.   Risks are prioritised for addressing proactively in the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) that is proposed in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill.

An outline will be given of the framework, through which Te Ao Māori perspectives are weaved, along with alignment to the Living Standards Framework and the National Disaster Resilience Strategy. While the risk methodology is primarily aimed at the national scale, it can also be used at a regional and district level.  Risks are aggregated across seven climate zones across A-NZ, and comprises a 3-stage assessment process:

  1. Risk screening to isolate the key risks nationally;

  2. Detailed assessment for those risks brought forward from the screening;

  3.  Assignment of an "urgency" rating for risks requiring adaptation actions.

The intention is for the framework to be downscaled to regional and district levels for more granular results - which could then be used to inform land use planning and adaptation decisions around existing and future climate risks.

Presenter:  Wendy Saunders and Dr Rob Bell

Co-Authors:  Anne Bardsley1, Acushla Sciascia2, Rob Bell3, Wendy Saunders4, Shaun Awatere5, Roger Fairclough6, Bapon Fakhruddin7 and Emma Lemire8  1University of Auckland, Auckland, 2Māpuna Consultants, 3NIWA, Hamilton, 4GNS Science, Avalon, 5 Manaaki Whenua - Landcar

Senior Natural Hazards & Climate Change Adaptation Planner, GNS SCIENCE

In 2019 Wendy was part of the Ministry for the Environment's Expert Panel to develop the first national climate change risk assessment framework, along with representatives from Auckland University, Māpuna Consultants, NIWA, Manaaki Whenua, T&T, and Neoleaf Global. For the last 15 years Wendy has worked at GNS Science, where she focuses on how land use planning and decision making on natural hazards, climate change and the risks from both can be improved. 

Principal Scientist - Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes, NIWA

Rob has been involved for 38 years in diverse areas of coastal engineering, coastal/shelf physical oceanography, natural physical hazards, risk assessment, water quality, wastewater discharges and climate-change impacts and adaptation. His expertise includes numerical modelling (hydrodynamic flows, discharges and sediment transport), coastal and estuarine oceanography, natural hazard and risk assessments, coastal climate-change and sea-level rise guidance, assessment of environmental effects (AEE's) for coastal roading projects, port developments, dredging and sand-extraction impacts, wastewater discharges and the design of monitoring programmes.


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