The Climate Change Minister doesn't want declaring a climate emergency to be a hollow promise.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will introduce a Government motion next week.
Minister James Shaw says the declaration will be a clear statement of the Government's intent to address the crisis.
He told Heather du Plessis-Allan other countries' declarations have been empty statements - but that's not what we want.
"We do want to make sure it is backed up with real substance, which is why we are describing this as a priority for the public service."
Shaw says that by declaring an emergency, similar to a civil defence emergency, it is signalling that it is of a similar level of seriousness.
However, it will not require public service workers to put their focus on a civil defence emergency.
"By using this language, we see it as an equivalent level of magnitude, and therefore it is one of the top priorities for government right across government."
That means that all ministries will need to do what needs to be done to respond, Shaw says.
He says climate change is contributing to more civil defence emergencies.