20 Feb 2019

New Zealand children to follow lead of world movement on climate

5:33 pm on 20 February 2019

The Māori Climate Change Commissioner, Donna Awatere-Huata, says it's time for New Zealand children to strike, and shame adults into action on climate change.

Police watch students in the London as they protest over climate change.

Police watch students in the London as they protest over climate change. Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/ AFP

Ms Awatere-Huata said children around the planet were striking from school to protest the failure of adults on a problem they would inherit as a poisoned legacy.

They were following in the footsteps of 15-year-old Swedish climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg and 13-year-old American Alexandria Villsenor, she said.

"As adults, we should be ashamed at our inaction and wilful delusion as every climate change alarm screams at us that we must make immediate changes.

"If it takes our children to shame us from our apathy, so be it."

On 15 March, the movement of children marching against climate change apathy would reach New Zealand, and she would march with them, Ms Awatere-Huata said.

"I will join the children of Aotearoa to stand in solidarity with their hope, their dreams and their future," she said.

Ms Awatere-Huata was appointed as the first Māori Climate Commissioner last September.

The office was established by the Māori Carbon Foundation, chaired by Sir Mark Solomon, to provide independent Māori-focused advice on how the country can meet its obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement on greenhouse-gas-emissions.

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