Climate change is one of our four priorities. We’re carrying out research to better understand what climate change might look like in South Dunedin and what we can all do to prepare for it. 

South Dunedin and Harbourside are low-lying areas at risk of sea-level rise due to climate change. We have a groundwater monitoring programme in low-lying parts of Dunedin city and South Dunedin, to study how stormwater run-off, tides and groundwater interact. 


We support the NZ Sea Rise project, a national scientific research programme that aims to improve predictions of the local impacts of sea-level change around New Zealand, including changes at coastal aquifers. 

South Dunedin is one of several case study areas in the project, and deep drilling is being done to determine exactly what lies beneath Dunedin. The drilling collects information about the different layers of rock underneath South Dunedin and Harbourside. Groundwater monitors are determining the characteristics of the deep aquifer. 

Determining the age and type of sediment underground will also provide information about past sea levels and environmental changes, which is vital for understanding how the environment may change in the future. 

The programme is being undertaken in collaboration with GNS Science via the NZ Sea Rise project, with in-kind support from the Dunedin City Council and the University of Otago. Oceana Gold also support this project. 

This project will generate an updated geological and groundwater model, which will give us information about the impacts of projected sea-level rise on groundwater levels and flooding hazards. 

The information will be shared with the DCC to help inform decisions on infrastructure management in South Dunedin and Harbourside, and possible measures that could be taken to mitigate future sea-level and climate change impacts.