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Climate ChangeNgā panonitanga āhuarangi

Together we can be the kaitaki, the guardians, for our taonga, our treasured environment. This page talks about the climate crisis, what we’re doing, and how you can make a difference.

Summer low flow compared to flood at MaraekakahoClimate crisis

Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata, haere whakamua
Care for the land, care for our people, go forward.

Together we can be the kaitaki, the guardians, for our taonga, our treasured environment. Together we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the opportunities and challenges presented by the climate crisis.

We know the climate is changing, and there will be more change in the future which will have broad environmental, social, economic, and cultural impacts. By acting now, we can reduce the most damaging effects of climate change for ourselves and future generations.

Climate emergency declaration

The Regional Council announced a climate emergency for the Hawke’s Bay region on 26 June 2019, recognising that we have a small window of time to act to avoid the most damaging effects of the climate crisis in the longer term.

In declaring a climate emergency, the Regional Council is making climate change a focus in all its decision-making and relevant work programmes.

What is the climate crisis?

The climate emergency declaration recognises that the climate crisis is an urgent and pervasive threat to human and ecological wellbeing.

Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, make up a small part of the earth’s atmosphere and act like a blanket around the earth. When there’s the right amount of greenhouse gasses, they trap warmth from the sun and make life on earth possible. When there’s too many greenhouse gasses the atmosphere traps too much heat and causes the climate to change.

Flooding at Horseshoe WaitangiWhile we have always experienced some extreme weather, the increase in greenhouse gases is generating unprecedented changes in global, national, and local climates. In Hawke’s Bay the effects we expect to see include:
• A rise in temperature and fewer frosts
• More extreme temperatures, more often

• More frequent and more severe droughts with greater fire risk
• Drier in winter and spring, while summer and autumn may get more rainfall
• An increase in extreme rainfall
• Stronger wind gusts during storms, including thunderstorms
• Sea level rise

The costs and damages associated with the climate crisis will affect everyone, and will be higher the longer we delay making a collective response to reduce emissions and adapt effectively. The costs of dealing with extreme weather events will be significant and may include replacing or repairing damaged roads, bridges, houses and stormwater drains, or dealing with increased soil erosion and flooding, and the consequent impact on economic production and community welfare.

Learn more about the local impact of the climate crisis

Climate Crisis FAQs

Hawke’s Bay Climate Change Projections - NIWA
Climate change impacts for Hawke’s Bay – Ministry for the Environment
Climate and Health Impacts for NZ - Royal Society
Climate change scenarios for NZ - NIWA

You can see the impact of coastal erosion due to climate change through the hazards portal.

What we’re doing

We’re establishing a climate-focussed programme that builds on our existing work and will improve our response to local issues and opportunities. We will be talking to you, our community, in 2020 about how we can best respond to the climate crisis together. Once we’ve got talked to our community, we’ll be accelerating our work to respond to the climate crisis.

We’re already working on lots of projects around the region, and will update this page when we begin new initiatives. We support Climate Action Hawke’s Bay, an initiative bringing businesses and communities together to be more connected and focused on meeting the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

Here are some examples of the work we’re currently doing.

How to get involved

We are stronger together and all must play our part to harness the opportunities and overcome the challenges of climate change. There are many ways to reduce your environmental footprint and grow resilience. You can:

  • Calculate your emissions footprint and get advice on how you can make it smaller
  • Leave the car at home and carpool, catch the bus, hop on a bike, or walk
  • Be energy efficient at home – saving energy saves money and can help the healthiness of your home. Solar panels and insulation are some examples, and are part of our Sustainable Homes programme. You can get free energy advice from EECA.
  • Reduce your rubbish. Consider cutting out single-use plastic in favour of re-usables. Find out more about the kerbside collection service in your area, start composting, and buy pre-loved items from second hand stores.
  • Enjoy local fresh food by growing your own at home or buying from local markets, and eat less meat to dramatically lower your household footprint.
  • Plant trees
  • Reduce the number of flights you take and offset your emissions when you fly.


There’s lots more information about what you can do on the Ministry for the Environment’s website, and local research and initiatives coming out of the Deep South science challenge.

If you’ve got any questions about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what you can do, check out our FAQs

Environmental Telarc

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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