Whangārei mayor Sheryl Mai has become the latest local government leader to sign the local government leaders' climate change declaration.

The document contains three commitments for council - develop and implement ambitious action plans that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support resilience, work with communities to understand, prepare for and respond to the physical impacts of climate change and work with central government to deliver on national emission reductions targets.

While the declaration is signed by mayors and chairs of each respective council, it was tabled at Thursday's council meeting for consideration and a position of the full council.

Mai said she proudly supported signing the document.


She had been reported as saying that she didn't support that humans had an effect on climate change.

"What I said was I won't get into the debate as to whether humans have caused climate change, I will get into the debate about dealing with the impacts of climate change because it is happening."

She then went further and said: "I do agree that humans have caused it."

Mai said the council was already preparing for the impact climate change will have along the district's coast, and making sure minimum floor levels are well above mean high water spring.

"We will be looking at managed retreat in some of our areas in our district and that's going to be a crunchy issue that we have to have with our communities."

Councillors voted to become a signatory of the document. Councillor Phil Halse asked for his vote against be recorded.

Councillor Stu Bell pointed out the council is doing most of the things in the commitments through various plans, policies, resolutions and other processes.

Councillor Cherry Hermon said the terrible events of the Christchurch mosque attacks overtook what was happening in the country that day, with "young people coming out in force asking for us to stand up over this".


"The young people of New Zealand spoke that day... we need to do everything we can to make the world a better place for them."

Councillor Crichton Christie said this was a case of either being a climate change believer or denier. "I'm a believer," he declared.

Sixty other local mayors and chairs have signed the declaration.

Northland Regional Council chair Bill Shepherd is among them, as is Far North mayor John Carter.

Kaipara mayor Jason Smith is working on a process for signing the document.