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August 5, 2019 | by  | in Features Poetry | [ssba]

Without the Ocean, what are we?

School Strike 4 Climate 15/03/2019


Papatūānuku and Tangaroa transcend time, lives & worlds. They interlock and intertwine as one – with deep rooted whakapapa to all worlds. As protectors of the earth & seas, our guardianship has failed. The human race have polluted & destroyed this earth and its oceans. Now, climate change is here to destroy us!


The Mana Whenua of Aotearoa and Tagata o le Moana in the Pacific are profoundly and intricately connected to the ocean – extending beyond to the non-human & underground worlds too. This is why our narrative is so different from most. We come from cultures where we have only ever known to look after the ocean and even the land, yet we have been the first to inherit the consequences of the previous generations’ destruction to our environment and their failure to take climate action. When I enter the ocean, my indigenous identity magnifies. To you, the ocean is a human asset, but to my people, it is an ecosystem that we are part of, a living and breathing being.  


Without the OCEAN there will be no life on land! Adani’s coal mine in Australia is destroying our ocean. It fuels global warming and will permanently damage our reefs and waters. The magnitude of this destruction has not been addressed with climate action, which is why people worldwide are fighting to Stop Adani. This speaks volumes to us because we are doing the exact same thing now. Holding our own government to account & for them to do their responsibility to protect our futures from being diminished! 


If you say that climate change is not happening now, then you are wrong. 


Climate change is here, it is happening, and I have seen the harmful impacts of it. 


I have seen my families’ livelihoods destroyed right in front of my eyes because of tropical cyclones. 

I have seen my Nana’s heart crushed while being forced to leave her flooded home because of the intensified heavy downpours. 

And I have seen my cousins do everything in their power to protect their homes against intensified natural disasters, only to have it swept away. 

Now can you look me in the eyes and tell me that climate change is not happening?


Jacinda declared climate change as her generations “nuclear-free” moment. But today, we’re all declaring to make this our “fossil-free” moment. 


To our nation’s leaders, where are you? the people sitting in that building right now. You have been way too absent in the fight for climate and for this reason, we are demanding stronger and consistent action NOW. This means implementing legislation that supports the following:


1) To become carbon-neutral by 2050, or sooner.

2) Limit warming to 1.5- 1.5 to stay alive

3) To invest more in Fossil fuel Divestment now 


We are demanding you to be adamant and committed to protecting Papatuanuku, Tangaroa and our futures.  There is no time for fear, guilt or blame. We need action and accountability. This is why we are striking. 


When I have children, I want them to grow up and actually have a planet to live on.


Like the oceans, we rise

Like the oceans, we protect

Like the oceans, we resist 


Fa’afetai tele lava ma ia manuia,

Thank you


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