What we're doing now

What is NRC doing?

We know there’s an urgent need for climate action. As a regional council, NRC plays a vital role in addressing climate change to protect current and future generations.

Much of what we do already responds to risks that are intensified by climate change. This includes:

  • monitoring lake levels, river flows and groundwater across Northland to better understand changes in water availability during dry periods, and ensure waterways have sufficient flows
  • reducing the risk of flooding by investing in flood management schemes in several Northland areas, and developing flood warning systems
  • providing funding and support through our land management programme and our Environment Fund to help landowners and local groups plant more trees and protect wetlands, which removes carbon from the atmosphere and improves water quality
  • investing in science and research, such as natural hazard mapping, so we have the tools and information to plan for future climate change scenarios
  • doing climate change risk assessments and working with district councils to develop an adaptation programme across the region.

Embedding climate change into all our decision making, improving our knowledge and building staff capacity is a key part of our mahi across council.

We’re also working to reduce our own emissions by increasing our use of renewable energy through solar panels and electric vehicles, and improving our systems for monitoring and reporting.

While the government looks after the bigger picture of managing New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, we’re working on ways to play a leading role in supporting communities and businesses to adopt zero-emissions practices. Responding to new standards and legislation, such as the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, also forms part of our mahi on climate change.

What’s our plan for the future?

We’ve structured our response to the climate crisis around three pou:

Graphic - lady planting sand dunes. Adaptation Graphic of electric vehicle. Reducing emissions Graphic of woman and child with plants. Removing carbon

You can read about our goals and work for each pou in our strategy for tackling climate change, Ngā Taumata o te Moana. It also gives more detail about how climate change affects and will affect Northland, the scope of what we’re able to work on, and how we intend to do it.

Our implementation plan sets out specific projects that will help us realise the strategy’s goals over the next three years. These represent a concrete commitment by council to address climate change, and are the start of a long-term work programme. 

Of course, we’re only one piece of the puzzle. We’re working with tangata whenua, landowners, business, farmers, schools and communities, supporting their climate-positive activities and helping reduce the impact of the transition to a zero-emissions economy.

Our vision is that Te Taitokerau is resilient in a changing climate, and transitions proactively and equitably to a thriving net-zero emissions society before 2050. Let’s work together to get there.