LGNZ Conference 2018
Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is its annual conference and EXCELLENCE Awards from 15-17 July 2018 in Christchurch. The Deep South Challenge is sponsoring an Interactive Session at the conference, "The challenges of climate change decision making and opportunities for adaptation":
Adapting to the impacts of climate change is a significant challenge and priority focus for councils. The way in which communities live and function is already being impacted by climate change, particularly by rising seas and increasing extreme weather events. All communities will be affected by climate change and all councils will face higher costs as infrastructure is enhanced and adapted to address the impacts. Tough and courageous decisions will have to be made by councils about how existing communities and developments are protected, and where new developments are located.
Councils face the risk that the adaptation decisions that they make will be challenged by affected communities or property owners, as was the case for Kapiti Coast District Council when its decision to include coastal hazard lines on LIMs was challenged in the High Court by affected property owners. The risk for other councils of similar legal action disincentivises them to make the tough and courageous adaptation decisions that increasingly need to be made.
In early 2018, LGNZ will launch a practical legal toolkit designed to assist councils with their climate change decision making responsibilities and to assist councils with ensuring that their exposure to litigation risk is minimised.
The purpose of this workshop is to provide attendees with:
- Insight into the challenges that were faced by Kapiti Coast District Council
- Practical and up-to-date legal guidance on councils' obligations to communicate climate change related information on LIMs
- An understanding of the risks for councils associated with failing to take action to address known impacts of climate change
- An opportunity to discuss strategies for engaging with communities and raising awareness of the impacts of climate change related natural hazards and risks.