National Iwi Chairs Forum Delegation at COP24 UNCCC Katowice, Poland
Friday 7 December 2018
Now is the time for action.
Kiwi’s can be proud of the New Zealand delegation in attendance at the UN Climate Change Conference COP24 meeting in the
city of Katowice, says Mike Smith, who is leading the Iwi Leaders Group on Climate Change.
The NZ delegation is a made up of government and a broad range of representatives including NZ business interests,
non-governmental organisations, the high profile National Iwi Chairs Forum and is extending support to the two youth
delegations, the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute, and Te Ara Whatu - the only indigenous youth delegation at COP24.
Smith says the diversity amongst the NZ participants is a positive example of how New Zealand society can come together
at this crucial time.
“A global response is required to confront the urgent problems the world is facing. At home, we must galvanise all
communities to embrace the types of significant societal shifts required to meet our emissions targets,” says Smith and
adds that the Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group have confidence in all the nations coming together here at COP24 to
establish a robust rule book to support the world achieving a rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Smith has been active in discussions alongside New Zealand government negotiators in this first week of COP24.
“It is vital that indigenous peoples voices are heard at these forums and I congratulate the New Zealand government for
being responsive to this. I encouraged the Māori & Pasifika youth in Te Ara Whatu to make their presence felt and during a Presidency Dialogue, they made a powerful
presentation which drew tears from hardened diplomatic negotiators.”
“As a result of the recent legislation halting new offshore oil exploration, New Zealand is been heralded as a beacon of
hope in the race to transition from harmful fossil fuels to clean energy solutions. Māori people can be very proud that
they have been in the vanguard of this important step forward."