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Climate change is the critical election issue for Kiwis

Cinnamon Whitlock
Maori Party candidate for Kelston
6 September 2017

Climate change is the critical election issue for New Zealanders

Global warming is impacting New Zealand with higher temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events, the Maori Party’s candidate for Kelston Cinnamon Whitlock said today.

“Climate change experts have been predicting this chain of events for some time and we now see clear evidence of these changes in local weather patterns.”

Burning fossil fuels is detrimental to our health. Because fossil fuel powered cars or fossil fuel plants release harmful gases like monoxide, sulphur oxides, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the air we breathe is no longer clean.

“Of particular concern for New Zealand is the environmental impact of dairy farming,” Cinnamon Whitlock said. “Dairy cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. Poor handling of manure and fertilizers is also degrading local water resources.

“The Maori Party is calling for legislation to protect freshwater and give it the status of taonga. We want to ensure that Te Mana o Te Wai (the mana of the water) is the overarching objective for freshwater management.

“As Maori we understand, more than anyone else, the importance of protecting the environment. This is part of our role as Kaitiaki. Before we were colonised we lived in harmony with the environment. Urbanisation and industrialisation have eroded our values and practices that protected the environment.”

New Zealand is one of 160 countries who have signed The Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“These environmental issues are Maori issues,” Cinnamon Whitlock said.

“More Maori need to be concerned about the impact of climate change, and support local and international efforts to combat it.

“The Maori Party has developed a comprehensive range of environmental policies to manage the production of waste, restore the health and wellbeing of waterways, and improve the biodiversity of our marine areas.”

At a personal level, Cinnamon Whitlock became a vegetarian, over 3 years ago and had recently transitioned to veganism.


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