We've supported the delivery of climate change learning programmes.

Since mid-2020, the Council has been supporting the delivery of the climate change learning programme Huringa āhuarangi: Whakareri mai kia haumaru āpōpō Climate Change: prepare today, live well tomorrow(external link), with supplementary additional adaptation lessons for schools in several low lying inland and coastal communities.

The learning programme helps to raise awareness of climate change and start conversations about the impacts of sea-level rise and how we can respond as a city. It also offers children and young people opportunities to collectively act on their knowledge and ideas to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, an important component when considering climate change hope and wellbeing.

Six Ōtautahi Christchurch and Te Pātaka a Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula schools participated in the programme in 2020 and a further seven new schools are participating in the programme during 2021.

Actions undertaken by participating schools include:

  • Setting up school Climate Clubs to take action and raise awareness throughout their schools and their communities
  • Writing and sending letters/emails to the Prime Minister, relevant MPs (Climate Change, Education, Local MPs) and big companies, already receiving some interesting replies plus meetings booked in over the next few weeks
  • Presentations to Community Boards, Enviroschool Workshop, and Council Councillors
  • Composing songs, including one school raising funds to professionally record and film a song ready for an early 2021 launch, and another recording and animating their song Dammit, we broke the world(external link)
  • Writing scripts and filming climate change documentaries
  • Designing various ways to reduce the use of single-use items such as take-away cups and plastics etc.
  • Planning and putting into action alternate transport to school plans, including a walking train and scooters etc.
  • Surveying their community about climate change and the big issues for them
  • Looking at waste action, including sharing the correct use of bins in assembly (and making labels to put on school bins), introducing World Saving Wednesday where everyone is encouraged to bring their lunch in reusable containers or beeswax wraps from now on
  • Watering and weeding native trees
  • An invitation from TVNZ to be interviewed and filmed as part of the Council Coastal Hazard Adaptation Planning programme, sharing their thoughts as children and young people about climate change and adaptation

Read more about how students from Ōhinetahi Governors Bay School are doing their bit to adapt to and reduce the impact of climate change on Newsline(external link)

In 2022, ongoing support to engage in adaptation planning, decision-making and collective action in their communities, Ōtautahi and Aotearoa is available for children and young people.

We Asked To Be Heard

Next Generation Conversation, a coalition of climate change activists aged between 10 and 14 years old in Ōtautahi-Christchurch submitted on the Council’s Coastal Adaptation Framework [PDF, 3.9 MB] at the end of 2021. This short film, We Asked To Be Heard, takes people through the process and the eventual outcome.

“It has been amazing to be a part of this group. To be listened to, to be heard, and for adults to take us seriously. Not just to be seen, to be really heard. It has been an awesome opportunity to change problems. To look back and say, I was part of that. It is empowering,” says high school student Caitlin Rees.

The Coastal Adaptation Framework received 101 submissions, including from a significant number of children and young people from across the district. One thing that submitters wanted is that education be made more prevalent to increase people’s awareness of climate science, and this was added to the framework as a result. Read more on Newsline(external link)