Mon 30 Sep 2019

WITT supports youth voice

A group of delegates to the Voices of the Future climate conference recently held in Taranaki called WITT home for a night. Conference organisers, Nikita Taiapa and Jezza Vivian, accepted an offer from WITT to accommodate those rangatahi travelling from outside the region for the entirely youth-led event.

After attending the Just Transition Conference, New Plymouth students Nikita and Jezza went about setting up their own conference with a vision to engage young people and hear their perspective. The free, day-long conference was held on 31 August at New Plymouth Girls High School.

Nikita and Jezza said it brought people of all ages together, allowing for meaningful intergenerational discussions to take place. Youth from all over the North Island travelled to the event and spent the weekend connecting over issues that were important to them.

“It was because of WITT’s generous offering that Jezza and I were able to successfully host the Voices of the Future climate Conference and provide the rangatahi travelling to New Plymouth for the event with a place to stay,” Nikita said.

“The fact that our youth delegates were able to stay together meant that many meaningful relationships were built and we now have made many more like minded new friends!

“We kindly thank WITT for your generosity and we are grateful that you had faith in our initiative. Without your support, this event wouldn’t have been such a success.”

Nikita said the pair were inspired to run their own event after learning more about the climate crisis it’s urgency.

“Our motivation to run the Voices of the Future Climate Conference came from the increased mention of the climate crisis. We started to hear the word climate being used more frequently so decided to get more involved.

“After learning more, we both agreed that something needed to be done to educate others on how their actions impact the climate. Seeing as our generation is going to be the most adversely affected we thought it was only right that we tried to do something ourselves.

“If our delegates took anything away from the conference we hope they feel heard, educated, and connected.

“Organising this event has really empowered us as individuals and we cannot wait to see how our futures shape and what wonderful other opportunities will come up.”