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The preliminary findings were presented at Local Government New Zealand’s Climate Change Symposium in Wellington yesterday.
According to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa), sea-level rise in New Zealand is above the global average.
Sea levels around New Zealand had risen 4.4mm a year since 1993.
The report showed about $1 billion of transport and roading infrastructure would be exposed if sea levels rose between 50cm and 1m.
Between $1 billion and $2 billion of water supply, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure would be exposed.
Tonkin and Taylor infrastructure and resilience specialist James Hughes said councils across the country would be significantly impacted by climate change.
The report focused on council infrastructure and did not include potential damage to residential properties.
The authors are waiting on additional information from councils to complete their research. A final report will be completed later this year.
Local Government New Zealand president Dave Cull said adapting to climate change was absolutely necessary and could not be funded by councils and ratepayers alone.
Climate change impacted on decisions relating to infrastructure, urban development, and land and water management, Mr Cull said.