This follows two reports from Niwa, warning the country tends to react to events rather than prepare for them.
Local Government New Zealand president and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull told Nine to Noon many councils were unprepared and would not have the money to cope with erosion risk in their communities.
He said councils must be able to plan ahead and put restrictions in place to avoid building in at-risk areas.
"The reports recently released have identified there's a complete lack of adaptation planning, you can't wait for these things to happen, you have to be really proactive and the previous government pretty much buried its head in the sand." Read more