Climate activists warn against policies that don’t consult iwi

April 3, 2019

Climate activists warn against policies that don’t consult iwi

Speakers at the “How do we survive this century?” climate action hui, from left: Mikesh Patel, India Logan-Riley, Ally Langenkamp and Nathan Rew. Photo: Sehej Khurana

For university student India Logan-Riley, natural disasters are a consequence of an imbalance with nature.

And now, as a member of a Māori and Pasifika youth group dedicated to the wellbeing of the earth, she is warning councils and others to consider indigenous people and land rights when tackling climate change.

Ms Logan-Riley was speaking as a delegate for Te Ara Whatu at the Auckland hui tackling climate issues, titled “How do we survive this century?”

Her group were the first indigenous youth group from New Zealand to attend the United Nations climate change summit in December.

Its next move is waiting for the upcoming zero-carbon bill, which she says they will be looking at very closely.

She hopes the bill will “affirm the special role that indigenous communities have in transitions”.

“Any climate action that doesn’t include Māori sovereignty is inherently racist and shouldn’t happen,” she says.

In Maori mythology, Papa is the earth mother who gives her son the clay to mould humans from.

All human activity towards the earth should be done to pay back this gift of life. Not doing honouring this leads to disasters, Ms Logan-Riley says.

Her involvement with climate action is political, but also personal – her Hawke’s Bay roots are threatened by the rising sea levels and she expects her home to be submerged during her life time.

Ms Logan-Riley’s younger sister has been asking to move away from the coast for five years. She’s only 15.

“She should never have had to feel that responsibility,” says Ms Logan-Riley.

Other speakers at the hui supported her words, including member of Extinction Rebellion Mikesh Patel, and Ally Langenkamp, a student who helped organise the Auckland March 15 school strike.

The hui was held by the movement Organise Aotearoa. Event organiser Vanessa Arapko says the meeting will inform the organisation’s programme, an agenda outlining the climate action causes they will support and actions they will take.

Another hui is being held in Hamilton on April 13.

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