RNZ | Maori disproportionately hit by climate change

On Waitangi Day 2020 I was privileged to be invited to join Julian Wilcox from Radio New Zealand, Mike Smith, and Mere Mangu for a panel discussion on climate change and Māori rights – made particularly poignant by the ongoing kōrero at Waitangi about land theft and the need for land reclamation for Indigenous Peoples to have our rights upheld. I shared reflections from COP25 Madrid, particularly around how the UN System works for Indigenous Peoples, and the efforts we must go to collectively to have our voices heard and our rights reflected in the negotiations; and highlighted the need for action at all levels – from our papakaika communities to international bodies. We must all be a part of the change, and if anything, our whānau doing the mahi on the ground at home are playing the most important and influential role.

The Iwi Chairs Forum Climate Change Leaders Group, with Mike Smith at its help, recently launched a climate change case against several New Zealand major companies. Our panel looks at how Māori vulnerability and susceptibility to the effects of climate change can be mitigated, and what work is being done by Māori to make that happen. Mike Smith is spokesperson of the Iwi Chairs Forum Climate Change Leaders Group, Mere Mangu is chair of Te Runanga o Ngapuhi and Kera Sherwood O Regan, from Ngāi Tahu is a human rights advocate and climate change campaigner.

Full story at RNZ here.

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Kera Sherwood-O'Regan

Kāi Tahu in Tāmaki Makaurau • Indigenous • Keyboard & Wellness Warrior • Wearer of too many pōtae (hats) • Passionate about protecting the rights of Papatūānuku and all her people • Chronically ill but I don’t let it get to me… much • Founder of Fibromyalgia Aotearoa New Zealand • I’ll be a doctor one day.

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