School Strike 4 Climate 'not a day off' - Māori climate commissioner

News 14/03/2019

Children taking part in the School Strike 4 Climate aren't in it for a day off, according to the Māori climate commissioner.

Students will walk out of school across the country on Friday as part of a nationwide call for action on climate change.

"We have the right to fight for our future, we have the right to a secure future and a safe climate future," leader Sophie Handford told Magic Talk afternoons host Sean Plunket earlier this month.

Donna Awatere Huata told The AM Show the strikers are well aware of what they'll be walking away from when they take part.

"Kids love school, kids value school. This is meaningful to them - it's not a day off. They can do that any day without any repercussions, but here they're actually making a stand."

The first child to protest was Swedish teenager Greta Thundberg, who chained herself to her country's parliament in protest.

The movement has spread across the world, including Australia and the UK.

Ms Huata said she can't believe how widespread the movement is and how intelligent the children leading it are.

"I just find it unbelievable that there's hardly a town in this country that isn't having a strike tomorrow. I've met some of these organisers, kids as young as 10 - goddamn, honestly they blow me away.

"Ten years old, 13, 14, they're so articulate, so intelligible, so knowledgeable - and I think it's up to us parents and grandparents to get in behind them."