The Government needs to put ratepayers at the front of the discussion when it comes to its response to the report released today on climate change adaptation, National’s Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“In the report ‘Vulnerable: the quantum of local government infrastructure exposed to sea level rise’ from Local Government NZ it is suggested that as much as $14 billion of local government infrastructure is at risk from sea level rise.

“Based on this report the Government may be required to change policy settings concerning climate mitigation and needs to consider the cost to the end user.

“This cost must be considered particularly in light of its gold plated three waters policy, which will impose high costs on councils, ultimately falling on ratepayers.

“We need to be pragmatic about the cost of climate change mitigation, not idealistic.

“National is working with the Government to see an independent, non-political Climate Change Commission established, so we have a framework through which we address climate change issues in the future.”

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