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"Investing in a better future, not a bigger failure": Calls for climate-resilient Cyclone Gabrielle recovery

8 May, 2023

Interview by Caedan Tipler, adapted by Ashley-Rose Redstone

Listen to the full interview

An activist group, the Intergenerational Climate Ambassadors, have published an open letter calling for MPs to implement a climate-resilient Cyclone Gabrielle recovery plan.

The group members range from 12-105 years old and include climate experts, authors, and public figures.

Their letter highlights the devastating aftermath of the cyclone and argues that it would be a “mistake” to continue with the current course of action towards the climate crisis. 

Councillor, activist, and member of the Intergenerational Climate Ambassadors, Sophie Handford, told 95bFM's The Wire that climate-resilient cyclone recovery means "investing in a better future, not a bigger failure."

Hanford proposed a multifaceted approach to rebuilding communities on the front lines of Cyclone Gabrielle.

This includes ensuring participatory democracy, listening to indigenous voices, and land use as a tool to both mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. 

"From what has been such a challenging time for so many whanau and communities, we can build back more resilient through centring what is most needed and the solutions held with those communities."

Handford highlighted that generations of Iwi, Hapū, and whānau have learnt to live alongside the land, and their input is crucial in developing a long-term solution to the climate crisis. 

Handford added that improving infrastructure, such as public transport and housing, could help reduce emissions. 

Hanford stated that the upcoming election would be a “climate election” and called for parties to focus on the climate crisis in their policy. 

"The climate crisis is very much in our midst. It's not a future problem."

"We can't afford to let the climate crisis continue to run away on us. If we do, it's a treadmill we won't be able to get off."