Adaptation: building climate resilience

National adaption plan

The Building for Climate Change programme is leading the building and construction sector's approach to climate adaptation.


As a result of climate change, many areas in New Zealand are already experiencing more extreme and more frequent weather events. New Zealand is seeing rising sea levels, more frequent flooding, coastal and inland erosion, drought, and wildfires. The weather is more turbulent and less predictable and will continue to change.

A more turbulent climate can disrupt the things we need for life to run smoothly – including our buildings. Some areas in New Zealand won't be suitable for building and decisions need to be made about how to limit damage to existing buildings.

The Building for Climate Change programme is leading the building and construction sector's approach to adaptation and will be introducing measures to increase the climate resilience of New Zealand's buildings.

National Adaptation Plan

The Government has released Aotearoa New Zealand's first National Adaptation Plan, which sets out the government's strategy and actions to respond to the risks presented by climate change. The draft National Adaptation Plan was publicly consulted on in May 2022.

The National Adaptation Plan looks at the impacts of climate change with us now and in the future and sets out how New Zealand can adapt. We need to change how we do things so we can thrive in a different climate to the one we've had in the past. New Zealand has a history of solving challenges through innovation, resourcefulness, and determination. Adapting to climate change is no different.

Learn more about the National Adaptation Plan -

Access the National Adaptation Plan -

The National Adaptation Plan responds to the National Climate Change Risk Assessment, released in 2020, which presents the best available evidence for a planned approach to addressing climate change risks. The National Adaptation Plan covers a six-year period, through to 2028 and future National Adaptation Plans will be built on similar timeframes.

National Climate Change Risk Assessment -

Adaptation – Building and construction sector

The Building for Climate Change programme's approach to adaptation focusses on two key principles:

  • The right buildings – ensuring building standards take into account our future climate (e.g. wind pressures and rainfall intensity)
  • In the right places – not building inappropriately in areas where climate change hazards are likely (e.g. subject to flooding).

The National Adaptation Plan sets out the strategy and actions that the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE), and other government agencies, will take to respond to the impacts of climate change.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment co-leads the Homes, Building and Places chapter (Chapter 7) of the National Adaptation Plan alongside Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. The outcomes of this chapter are:

  • Homes and buildings are climate resilient and meet social and cultural needs.
  • New and existing places are planned and managed to minimise risks to communities from climate change.
  • Māori connections to whenua and places of cultural value are strengthened through partnerships.
  • Threats to cultural heritage arising from climate change are understood and impacts minimised.

We want homes and buildings to be resilient to climate change, allowing communities to thrive. Through the National Adaptation Plan we will deliver actions to:

  • Develop risk assessment and guidance to provide information for home and building owners to understand and plan for climate risks (Action 5.7, Chapter 5).
  • Develop a methodology for risk assessment specific to public buildings (Action 3.25, Chapter 3).
  • Use forward-looking climate data and modelling to inform any updates to the Building Code performance requirements and updates to climate hazards in the Building Code (Action 7.4, Chapter 7).
  • Monitor the effects of any adaptation related regulatory change to manage any potentially adverse impacts (Action 7.6, Chapter 7).

Other actions in the National Adaptation Plan that will contribute to resilient homes, buildings and place are being delivered by Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.


This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: