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Full House for IPWEA Breakfast Panel on Youth and Climate Change

November 2019


It was a full house for the breakfast panel on youth and climate change at the Northern Branch meeting on 17 October 2019 in Parnell says branch chair Cushla Anich, Director of Morrison Low. The panel consisted of two industry and two youth members. The industry members were Kathryn King, Urban Mobility Manager from NZTA, and Andrew Chin, Waters Programme Manager from Auckland Council. The youth members were Luke Wijohn Representing School Strike 4 Climate NZ, and Pim van den Top representing Generation Zero. 


The panel debated topic questions on the engagement between young people and local government, these include:

  • How to bring them into the sector
  • How to involve them in local government decision making to shape the future and effectively deal with climate change, and
  • What are the specific barriers for them joining the sector?

Questions for the panel were then asked from the floor. There was a wide range of demographics including university students and professionals from organisations including councils, central government agencies and consultants. The branch meeting was also live streamed.


The key themes from the session were:

  • Climate change requires urgency
  • Ideas comes from everybody (young and old)
  • Need system changes particularly for meaningful community consultation
  • Lack of civic education (needs to start at high school)
  • Empowering the youth (e.g lower voting age to 16 years - and they keep voting)
  • Open trade careers at school. 


We all need to reflect on how we will drive these ideas into actions with our networks and everyday jobs.