This list of resources will support your climate change adaptation planning.

Projected changes to New Zealand’s climate

New Zealand has already experienced around 1.1°C of warming since the beginning of the 20th Century. And further warming is unavoidable due to greenhouse gases emitted over past decades. The Paris Agreement aims to limit warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. 

An increase in 1 or 2° C may not seem a lot, but for context – average global temperatures are now only 5° C higher than at the peak of the last ice age. You may find this page useful for understanding more about the science of climate change.

Ministry for the Environment information 

The following map from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) gives an overview of expected climate change impacts for New Zealand over the next century. You can find further information of New Zealand's changing climate here. There is also more detailed information available in MfE’s 2018 report Climate Change Projections for New Zealand.

Ministry for the Environment

NIWA climate change projections resources

For an easy-to-understand national summary on expected climatic changes, check out NIWA's page about climate change projections, which includes a 6-minute video giving a national overview.

NIWA also has information on the projected future climate of New Zealand here and here. Drought specific information can be found through NIWA's Drought Monitor and through the Deep South Challenge Drought Risk Report

Detailed climate change projections by region

The next page of this toolbox, Projected regional climate change hazards, provides a summary of projected climate change hazards for New Zealand, broken down by climate region/zone:

  • Zone 1: Upper North Island (Te Ika ā Māui)
  • Zone 2: Western lower North Island (Te Ika ā Māui)
  • Zone 3: Eastern lower North Island (Te Ika ā Māui)
  • Zone 4: Northern South Island (Te Wai Pounamu)
  • Zone 5: Eastern South Island (Te Wai Pounamu)
  • Zone 6: Western and southern South Island (Te Wai Pounamu)
  • Zone 7: Chatham Islands (Wharekauri – Rēkohu) and Pitt Island (Rangiauria –Rangiaotea)

This information is based on current climate models and projections for New Zealand produced using NIWA’s Regional Climate Model. For many councils and other organisations around New Zealand NIWA has carried out bespoke modelling to provide specific advice about expected climate changes and impacts. You can find links to any reports that are publicly available here. 

If you’re interested in talking to us about similar work for your location or organisation, email [email protected]

Local government-related resources

MfE has three comprehensive reports on climate change projections for New Zealand and their impacts, particularly with respect to Local Government activities: 

Agriculture and horticulture-related resources

Increases in mean temperature and changes to seasonal rainfall will present land managers with challenges and new opportunities. Adapting to different future conditions is critical for farmers and growers to remain sustainable, resilient and productive. You may find the following websites useful: