NIWA extreme weather report heats up climate debate

Climate change has become a hot topic again in the wake of a NIWA report fearing more extreme weather.

The findings say last year's forecast was extreme, and more climate change could trigger more of the same.

Local Government New Zealand president Dave Cull thinks the Government needs to throw its wallet in the ring.

"If there is a natural disaster and the council is not prepared, then it's the central Government that needs to fund the recovery," he told Newshub.

Mr Cull says Local Government has been "advocating for some time for a risk agency to increase local capacity and develop a consistent standard of risk management right across the country".

"It's not so much a matter of being prepared - the question to ask is, are all local Governments as aware as we need to be of what the risks are in their particular areas?"

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says the changing environment needs to be a priority.

"NIWA's latest data is in line with patterns of climate change that are becoming clearer every year, and shows why we have a responsibility to future generations to do what we can, as soon as we can, to limit more climate change and prepare for the effects the changing climate is already having."

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi is heading to Thames-Coromandel on Tuesday to survey the damage of the year's first storm.