Climate concern crosses all age barriers at protest

Hazel Jenks' voice could easily have been missed among the booming chants of teenagers calling for climate change in the Octagon yesterday.

She is only 5 years old, but it did not stop her from expressing her own colourful, yet passionate, plea.

"Please make this world safe so we can stay alive.

St Hilda’s Collegiate pupil Georgia Broadley (17) makes her feelings known. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
St Hilda’s Collegiate pupil Georgia Broadley (17) makes her feelings known. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
"I don't want to fly off to another world because this one is broken. I want to live here for my whole life."

The St Clair School pupil was among more than 1000 Dunedin school pupils and tertiary students who marched along George St to the Octagon yesterday afternoon, as part of strike action aimed at sending a message to New Zealand politicians about the urgency of climate action.

There were many speeches, chants, and singing - all aimed at attracting the attention of those in power.

Dunedin School Strike 4 Change co-organiser Zak Rudin called on the Government to declare a climate emergency, and demanded the Zero Carbon Bill be revised to make New Zealand carbon-neutral by 2040 at the latest - not 2050 as is the aim of the Bill.

More than 1000 school pupils and tertiary students march in George St, Dunedin, yesterday in the...
More than 1000 school pupils and tertiary students march in George St, Dunedin, yesterday in the Strike 4 Climate protest. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Children from a range of Central Otago schools also made their voices heard when they marched to the Central Otago District Council offices in Alexandra, chanting "if you were smart, we'd be in school".

Adults joined them and were greeted by councillor Dr Barrie Wills who listened to their concerns, before sharing his views on the issue.

The protesters were among thousands nationwide who conducted similar demonstrations as part of the global Schools 4 Climate Action movement, sparked by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg.

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