More hot days, fewer frosts, more and heavier rain in the west and less rain in the east, floods, rising sea levels and the loss of snow cover and depth are the climate change risks facing the region.
The first Manawatū-Whanganui Climate Risk Assessment Report has been presented to Horizons Regional Council's Climate Action Joint Committee which will now form a working group that will have a climate action plan for this region ready by the end of next year.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw joined the committee's second ever meeting, via Zoom, on Monday.
Its joint chairwoman Dr Rachel Keedwell said it was a milestone meeting for both the climate and partnership with iwi.
The committee includes seven tāngata whenua representatives with voting rights and the mayors or representatives of the seven territorial authorities in the region.
Keedwell, who is Horizons Regional Council chairwoman, shares the committee's chairing role with Dr Huhana Smith, whose whakapapa links are with Ngāti Tukorehe and Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga.
The changes predicted in the report would disrupt tourism, transport and food production, as well as ecosystems, property and sites of cultural significance, Keedwell said.
Smith said the committee aimed to reduce region emissions to reduce the severity of climate change, adapt the region to changed conditions and ensure the costs are shared fairly.
Input from tāngata whenua will add Māori knowledge to the scientific evidence it uses.
Shaw said Government was now factoring climate change into all major decisions, and New Zealand must meet its climate commitments.
The climate risk report, commissioned by Horizons, lays out the risks for each of the seven districts, taking into account expert knowledge, iwi values and the latest International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings.
The working group putting the plan together will consist of the committee, with knowledge from iwi and hapū collected in the districts, and Horizons staff.
The first report back on key issues for the plan will be in March next year.