‘More Floods and Wind Storms for Kāpiti’ — New Report

A new climate change report says Kāpiti and the Coast can expect more wind storms and floods in future.

Paraparaumu Beach during a storm

The report on emerging climate extremes predicts increasingly warmer days and nights for the Region.

More downpours, more droughts

It says there’ll also be more droughts, driven by extreme heatwaves, and more frequent downpours, potentially leading to severe social and environmental impacts.

The report by NIWA ( National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research ) was commissioned by Greater Wellington Regional Council.,

Climate change is happening now, it says. Climate extremes, in particular, will have a high impact in our region, with the Wairarapa being a hot spot for droughts and heatwaves, and the west coast being a hot spot for wind storms and floods.

Greater Wellington Climate Committee chair, Cr Thomas Nash, says:

“This report shows that the more we do to reduce our emissions now – and persuade others to do the same – the better we’ll be able to manage the effects of warmer weather, more dry spells, a warmer ocean and, as we’ve just experienced, more intense rainfall events.”

The future is starting

“For the Wellington Region, many of the projections made in the first NIWA report are starting to materialise, giving us a taste of how and where we will need to be better prepared.

“As well as reducing emissions, we need to plan for these changes, especially in relation to our water supply, our food production and our buildings”, he says.

The report also warns of extreme heatwaves (three or more consecutive days with maximum temperature above 30 degrees), showing that such events may start to occur in the future in the Wellington region.

Wairarapa will get extreme heat

In the Wairarapa, 10 or more consecutive days of extreme heat (greater than 30 degrees) are predicted to become part of the new climate.

But as Cr. Nash emphasises, “the good news is that right here in the Wellington region we have some of the world’s leading climate thinkers: scientists, farmers, ecologists, experts in mātauranga Māori, as well as planners, economists, and innovators. 

With this in mind, our Council has set up a dedicated climate committee and, having just adopted ambitious terms of reference for it last week, our works start now.”

Over the next three years, Greater Wellington will set out detailed plans to reach net zero emissions as a council by 2030.

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