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Youth Delegation Present Thousands Of Climate Messages

*New Zealand Youth Present Thousands of Climate Change Messages to Minister Nick Smith at United Nations Climate Change Negotiations*

Cancun, Mexico (13.00 GMT-6) – The New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) presented a huge handmade canvas fern covered in messages from young Kiwis to Minister for Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith, last night at the United Nations Climate Change negotiations.

The NZYD gathered the thousands of handwritten messages from young people they held workshops with in schools, youth groups and universities around New Zealand in the months leading up to the UN Climate Change negotiations. The following are examples of these messages:

“Please listen to us. Stop bickering about financial costs and think about the costs for your children and their children.”

“The leaders people remember with admiration do what is RIGHT despite criticism and costs. What sort of leaders will you be?”

NZYD spokespeople Rick Zwaan (17) and Brittany Packer (19) delivered a speech to Minister Nick Smith and the New Zealand negotiating team as they presented the fern, outlining young Kiwis’ expectations of our Government in the negotiations. Youth are calling for the New Zealand Government to epitomise the Kiwi values of doing our fair share, looking out for our neighbours (especially Pacific Islanders whose lives are already being affected by climate change), and moral leadership.

At the conclusion of the speech, Nick Smith thanked NZYD for the reminder of why they are in Cancun trying to negotiate a climate deal, and the Government representatives gathered around to read the messages on the fern.

NZYD is a group of 12 young people aged 16 to 26 from around New Zealand who have come to the United Nations Climate Change negotiations to represent New Zealand youth.

- ENDS -

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