The Government announced this morning it will launch a multi-agency scheme to identify risks from existing and older 'legacy' landfills.
The move was spurred after an extreme storm saw the exposure and erosion of a South Westland landfill earlier this year, Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage said.
"Getting a better picture of the risks associated with current and closed landfills is an issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency," Ms Sage said.
Efforts to restore the pristine waterway in Fox River continued months after a storm in March exposed an old landfill and left a massive trail of trash.
Ms Sage described the Fox River council landfill exposure and erosion "a wake-up call".
"It highlighted the importance of knowing where closed landfills are, their vulnerabilities and how to reduce their exposure to natural hazards and potential impacts from a changing climate.
"Central Government, councils and communities need to work together to ensure the right adaptation policies and plans are in place for risks to landfills."
Chief Executive of Environment Canterbury Bill Bayfield said the Fox River landfill erosion "showed just how much legacy landfills can become a threat to communities and the environment as the effects of climate change become more pronounced".