More than 100 rangatahi (young people) from across Auckland gathered for the Conscious Climate Mana Rangatahi Summit on 30 April to explore climate change from a Te Ao Māori perspective.
The summit, held at Ruapotaka Marae in Glen Innes, aimed to bring together a group of passionate Māori and Pasifika rangatahi to discuss the impacts of climate change and ensure a strong rangatahi perspective is represented in the upcoming draft Auckland Climate Change Action Plan.
In partnership with Auckland Council, two environmental youth organisations, Parakore ki Tāmaki and Te Ohu Mana Rangatahi, led the summit, creating a space where rangatahi could explore climate change from a Te Ao Māori perspective.
It was an innovative engagement approach for Auckland Council as the event was led by rangatahi, for rangatahi.
“We’re providing a unique and authentic platform for rangatahi to speak for themselves on this kaupapa, to develop their own point of view, to present their own work in their own words and become leaders in the space,” says Auckland Council’s Senior Sustainability and Resilience Advisor, Isobel Bruun-Kiaer.
Matauranga Māori specialist Rereata Mahika presented to rangatahi at the summit, speaking about indigenous knowledge of land, water and environment. His korero was then the basis for workshops that cultivated discussion and ideas about climate change and the role of rangatahi as kaitiaki.
“Seeing the rangatahi passion for climate change and their willingness and ability to have a voice on this important kaupapa is exciting.”
The draft Auckland Climate Change Action plan is expected to be available for public consultation later this year.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the rangatahi voice was a critical component in developing the Auckland Climate Action Plan.
“We know climate change is happening. We know the effects are going to be dramatic. So, this is a chance to have the voice of the rangatahi heard, listened to and responded to.”
The summit is just one of the ways Auckland Council is delivering on its Auckland Plan commitment to support rangatahi participation and leadership.