Letter From Generation Zero To Ministers

To the Parliament of Aotearoa New Zealand,

Please centre climate justice when making decisions on the COVID-19 recovery.

Repairing the damage done by COVID-19 to both our economy and society will be a huge task. It is critical that we put climate justice at the centre of our response, as there can be no social justice without climate justice. We would do future generations a disservice if we forgot the need to act on climate change while recovering from COVID-19.

Generation Zero asks that when you are making decisions on the recovery you:

Honour and uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi and The Zero Carbon Act.
Do not override the Resource Management Act and ensure due process.
Lay the foundations of a zero-emissions Aotearoa by prioritising low-carbon transport infrastructure.
Ensure that new government housing provides a healthy environment for our vulnerable citizens.
Our response to the economic impacts of COVID-19 today determines our tomorrow Aotearoa has responded strongly and swiftly to the threat of COVID-19. We ask that the decisions that the Government, Parliament, and local authorities make over the coming weeks and months protect the wellbeing of New Zealanders now and in the future.

We ask that during this turbulent time, Parliament remembers its commitment to New Zealand’s future. We must uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi and The Zero Carbon Act to prevent future irreversible environmental crises and ensure social and climate justice.
We ask that the decision making processes through which funds are allocated are equitable. Democratic oversight mechanisms, such as the Resource Management Act, must be preserved to ensure accountability. Every community faces unique challenges and thus projects should be undertaken collaboratively in consultation with all stakeholders, not imposed democratically.
We ask that a priority for new development is a network of reliable public and active transport options that connect the country. Investment in modern transport infrastructure, for people and freight, lays the building blocks of a zero emissions nation. New infrastructure should support urban, regional and national development, be future-focused, and centred on low-emissions transport.
We ask that the welfare of vulnerable New Zealanders is protected by ensuring that government housing is warm and safe to live in. Furthering access to healthy housing supports the government’s emissions reduction targets by reducing energy use and safeguards the health of those most at risk.
To protect the vulnerable from COVID-19, we have changed the way we work and live. Just as the present crisis demands foresight and prompt action, climate change demands that we respond now to avert future catastrophe. We owe it to each other to stay at home, but the Government owes it to all New Zealanders to lead on climate action.

Yours sincerely,
Generation Zero