Updated 3:24pm: There's a stern warning to the Government that it needs to urgently take a front seat in tackling climate change.
Parliamentary commissioner for the environment, Dr Jan Wright, predicts seas will rise by 30 centimetres by 2050.
She says while it may not sound much, its impact will be very costly for landowners.
She says that makes storms much more dangerous, and central government has to guide local councils so they know how to prepare.
Dr Wright says the government can do much more.
She says a country that brands itself as being clean and green should be doing more than being a fast follower.
Govt could be forced to bail out flood victims
Jan Wright claims the Government could be forced to bail out flood victims in the same way it's bailed out quake-affected Christchurch residents.
She says that could have huge affects on some coastal areas, creating fiscal responsibility on the government.
"Get a disaster, people are uninsured or not insured adequately, and the Government has had to step in with a huge amount of money so, in a way, the Christchurch situation is a glimpse of what the future might hold."
Jan Wright will release a follow up report next year identifying vulnerable areas.
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