The Whangarei District Council has joined a growing list of local bodies declaring a climate emergency.
The council says it reflects the community's concerns and recognises that change needs to happen quickly to avoid the worst.
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In a statement, the council says many of its housing and business areas are exposed to the risk of sea level rises.
Council strategic planner Bernadette Aperahama said the council was taking climate change seriously.
"We are right at the beginning of a community-wide journey," she said.
"We are bringing sustainability into key projects like the future Civic centre and into day to day activities such as Zero Waste events."
She said the council has commenced and Climate Change Adaptation Work Programme, which will focus on the risk to core infrastructure, followed by community by wider impacts to the district.
"Council's declaration will involve an action plan developed with our community to put climate change to the front and centre of all council's decision making."
Auckland Council also voted to declare a climate emergency last month, vowing that it would be backed up by action.