Indicators at a glance - Climate change

This section summarises the latest Environmental Health Indicators about climate change and health in New Zealand. 

Summary

There is now clear international evidence that the world's climate is changing. New Zealand climate scientists predict that New Zealand’s weather will change in the following ways.  

Predicted change Explanation
Warming

All of New Zealand is very likely to warm about 1°C by 2040 and 2°C by 2090.

There will be more very hot days, and fewer very cold days.

Rainfall

The West Coast region will have more rainfall. 

North and eastern parts of the North Island and the east of the South Island will have less rainfall.

Droughts Droughts are likely to occur more often, especially in the east of both islands, and the Bay of Plenty and Northland.
Fire danger There are likely to be more days with very high and extreme fire danger in eastern New Zealand, the Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Nelson.
Windier The South Island is likely to get windier on average, particularly in winter.

Sources: [1,2]

Environmental health indicators for climate change

The following climate-related indicators help assess the health impacts of climate. This is regardless of whether there is a significant degree of ‘change’ over the time that the indicators are measured.

You can find out more about the indicators, and download factsheets, on the related webpages.

Topic Indicators
Temperature

Days over 25°C

Days under 0°C

Rainfall and drought Days of soil moisture deficit
Climate change is a health issue

Notifications of cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, salmonellosis

Population groups more at risk than others to the effects of a changing climate, including: 

  • young children (aged under 5 years)
  • older adults (aged 65+ years and 80+ years)
  • Māori
  • ethnic minorities
  • those living in poverty

References

1. Ministry for the Environment. 2008. Climate Change Effects and Impacts Assessment: A guidance manual for local government in New Zealand. Second edition. Wellington: New Zealand Climate Change Office, Ministry for the Environment.

2. Reisinger A, Kitching R, Chiew F, Hughes L, Newton P, Schuster S, et al. 2014. Australasia. In V Barros, C Field, D Dokken, M Mastrandrea, K Mach, T Bilir, M Chatterjee, K Ebi, Y Estrada, R Genova, B Girma, E Kissel, A Levy, S MacCracken, P Mastrandrea and L White (Eds.), Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.