Climate crisis: a call to action

A growing number of Northlanders are working together to do what we can to avert the climate crisis. At this point I am not going to elaborate on the severity of the crisis – increased media reporting, and the growing proof all around us, makes the state of emergency self-evident to anyone who is even casually aware.

This post elaborates on what a small but growing group have achieved, what we plan to do and how you can help.


Last June’s Tai Tokerau Climate Change Conference was opened by the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw. You can read more about the conference here. This accelerated both networking and building a community of action. Led by Carol Peters (QSM) we established the Climate Change Tai Tokerau Northland Trust.

The Tai Tokerau Climate Change Project aims to promote action to mitigate climate change. There are a wide range of actions we can all take to slow down and ultimately reverse global warming. We do this for our children and our mokopuna. You can read more about us and access our constitution here.

Another legacy of the conference has been the establishment of a community group which has met three times since the June conference, hosted by Manaia PHO. Across these meetings, approximately 50 people have contributed to discussions. It has been gratifying to see an expanding network, with new people joining every meeting to explore the workstreams established at the conference: 

  • Food (both expanding the food base and minimising food waste)
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Trees
  • Energy and transport
  • Māori engagement and response.

We’ve also added ‘Education and engagement’ because of the importance of raising awareness, especially for our young people, and to build our network.

The trust and community workshops operate as a dynamic hub in a growing network of people wanting to take action. We also recognise the great work happening all over Northland by groups and networks such as Carbon Neutral Kerikeri, Transition Towns, the growing band of EV owners and the Northland Totara Working Group. We anticipate our work will align with the Governments work on number of fronts to tackle the challenges of climate change, particularly in relation to the Zero Carbon Bill and regional development.

The website continues to grow and thanks to Paul Voigt for setting up a Facebook page.

Inspired by the Drawdown project, it is urgent that we help people understand the broad range of actions that can help adapt to, and mitigate, the worst effects of the crisis. For example growing your own food, sharing your surpluses and walking or biking more often all help.

Plans and events

2019 will see accelerating action, including

  • 4-5 February, Takahiwai marae, “Pacific Food Sovereignty and Traditional Knowledge Conference” (event Facebook page here).
  • Regenerative Agriculture Workshop 16 and 17 February in the Hokianga.
  • “What does regeneration look like?” – a panel discussion on 27 February (more information available soon).
  • Regular promotions for electric vehicles organised by Joe Camuso and others.
  • Climate Outreach at the Whangarei Growers Market (date to be finalised)
  • Regenerative farming projects – an extension group, and the “Transforming Agriculture” project.
  • 10 to 12.00 p.m. 18 April, Manaia PHO, Next community workshop.
  • Stay tuned for how you can be actively involved in the design of Part two of Whangārei City Council’s climate change strategy development (link for part one here).   
  • Understanding change dynamics – a Climate Change One Day Symposium.
  • Working with Whangarei Girls High on a climate change related curriculum project.
  • Resourcing and engagement projects.

Resourcing our work is a challenge. We are volunteers and so all of us have other commitments that limit the time and energy we can invest. We are also committed to working with organisations throughout the north while retaining our independence. This year we will be raising funds to:

  • Establish an office initially staffed half-time. This should require wages only as we will be able to find an organisation to host our office.
  • Support the development of funding applications for climate action projects.
  • Support engagement and education processes. 

Come join us! 

We are developing “A hundred climate change actions” – things we can chose to do to support climate change action. If you have ideas please share them, but in the mean time here are some specific ways to support our network.

  • Donate: Our bank account is 12-3099-0088383-00. Include your name and/or contact us. You will get a receipt as donations are tax exempt. (We are working on including a donate button on the website. If you can help please leave a comment).
  • Encourage others, including organisations, to support our activities. (The organisations’ name and logo will go on the website). 
  • Like and follow our blog and Facebook Page.
  • Join our community workshops. The next one is at Manaia PHO, 10am to 12pm, 18 April.

Many of us working together so far are old enough to possibly escape the worse consequences of the climate crisis, but we know that our children and mokopuna will be more severly impacted. This is a long term project, but we must accelerate or efforts. I know I can’t make much difference by myself, but together we can make a massive difference. Please join us.

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