Ōpōtiki District Council added its voice to almost one thousand jurisdictions around the world and declared a climate change emergency at its Ordinary Council meeting on 5 September 2019.
Ōpōtiki Mayor, John Forbes, moved the recommendation and said that it was an opportunity to add another voice to the international chorus.
"It is already something that we consider in everything we do. Councils look much further ahead than many businesses can because our infrastructure needs to last for generations. We are already building to specifications that predict things like higher sea levels and more frequent severe rainfall events.
"So declaring this emergency is a way to give climate change the recognition it needs and to raise the awareness of the impacts we're already starting to feel here close to the coast.
"To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we will need to take local and global action. We will need to make changes as councils, as businesses and as individuals. This declaration is our way of raising awareness of the changes and the extent and speed with which we all need to act," Mr Forbes said.