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LGNZ sea-level rise report not even half the story

01 Feb 2019

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) today welcome Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ’s) report into sea-level rise around the country, saying that the billions of dollars of local government assets identified in the report as at risk from sea-level rise doesn’t even tell half the story.

“This report should have everyone sitting up and listening,” said Tim Grafton, ICNZ Chief Executive. “It has identified that over $5 billion of local government assets are at risk from a one metre sea-level rise, but we believe the full cost of exposure to central government and private sector property will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

“LGNZ has done everyone a service by putting the issue of adaptation to climate change fairly and squarely on the agenda for discussion by all,” said Grafton. “This is not just an issue for local government; central government has a key role to play too and ultimately carries the economic, social and political risk if adapting to sea-level rise is not well managed.”

“Every dollar invested to reduce and adapt to risk now will save many more dollars in future post-disaster losses and help avoid social dislocation.”