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New Zealand

NZ's response to climate change disasters needs a rethink - expert

Newshub logoNewshub 13/02/2019 Katie Fitzgerald, Kethaki Masilamani
Pictured: Hurricane Rosa. Storms are expected to become more frequent as the earth warms. © Image - Reuters; Video - Newshub. Pictured: Hurricane Rosa. Storms are expected to become more frequent as the earth warms.

New research reveals we need to rethink how climate change catastrophes are dealt with.

Powerful storms and intense heat are expected to become more frequent as the world's temperature warms.

Author Dr Judy Lawrence told Newshub we should have a long-term approach to responding to the disasters.

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"We respond by putting people back into the same location, where they'll continue to be affected by the hazards that are becoming more frequent," she said.

The research shows climate change disasters have a domino effect on the wider economy and Dr Lawrence said simply dealing with the immediate problem will lead to bigger issues in the future.

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"Heavy rainfall occurs, it blocks roads, people can't move around, goods and services can't move, so markets are affected, access to ports is affected and the tourism industry is affected."

She said New Zealand is putting a Band-Aid on a larger problem and wants a review of the way the country currently responds to climate change disasters.

"Whether it's a fire, or whether it's a flood, it actually has a pretty widespread impact on the ability of the emergency services to respond."

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