Our Story 

The Future of Generation Zero


A climate-just Aotearoa for now and tomorrow. 

Membership statement

We provide a space for people to grow, learn, and act towards a climate-just Aotearoa in a way that supports collective well-being, community building, creates hope and inspires action.


Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a founding document of Aotearoa

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is one of Aotearoa’s founding documents, which constitutes the role of tangata whenua and tangata tiriti in Aotearoa, as outlined in its articles.

A 1.5-degree target for global emissions

Genuine climate action needs to be aligned to the Paris Climate Agreement’s 1.5-degree limit, as outlined in the Zero Carbon Act Amendment Bill, while achieving a just transition for all. 

Equity and Inclusion

Unequal power structures have entrenched inequity across our communities, and these need to shift in order to achieve climate justice. Inclusion of and leadership by structurally disadvantaged communities is fundamental to creating a climate-just world. 

Frontline community-led action as lasting action

A climate-just community is resilient to the effects of climate change while being a place where people have meaningful, interconnected lives. Effective climate action builds the capacities and capabilities of frontline communities to flourish and drive their own change.  

Our Mission for achieving climate justice in Aotearoa

  • Campaigning for and supporting climate justice as the foundation to all our advocacy 
  • Focusing on urban issues related to transport systems, housing, public policy and democratic participation. 
  • Championing mitigation, adaptation and resilience-building solutions that are informed by research, local knowledge and equitable decision-making.
  • Reducing time, civic, financial, and knowledge barriers for communities and young people to advocate for climate justice at national and regional government.
Leading from the Back
  • Prioritising the needs of frontline communities when determining what is equitable.
  • Enabling rangatahi in Aotearoa to become climate justice leaders and assisting those already in leadership.
  • Supporting ally organisations on kaupapa when and where they call for it.
  • Resourcing and supporting tangata whenua, tangata moana and other frontline communities to lead climate change action.
  • Being a force for our own change that ally organisations appreciate and value.
  • Learning with our communities about climate change, colonisation and wellbeing in climate advocacy
  • Amplifying the stories of communities who will be the most impacted by climate change.
  • Connecting communities to accessible information about climate policies,  proposed solutions and pathways to take action. 
  • Building and inspiring a collective vision of a more interconnected, climate-just future.
Theory of Change

Colonisation, capitalism and neoliberalism are driving forces in Aotearoa’s political system. The Crown, corporations, businesses and landowners have disproportionate power over government at central and local levels. This motivates a status-quo response to climate change. Generation Zero seeks to devolve this power by mobilising rangatahi to engage in democracy and uplift their collective power to create institutional change for a climate-just future.

Who are We? 

Generation Zero was established in 2011 to create localised climate action and ensure that rangatahi have a voice in the climate movement. We felt that climate action was being side-lined in public and political spaces in Aotearoa, and that the people most affected by climate change, including rangatahi, were not being heard. Generation Zero has since shifted its focus to climate justice, following shifts in climate change conversations locally and worldwide.

What is climate justice? 

Our Story of Climate Justice

Climate change is not only an environmental issue; it is a social issue that impacts our communities unequally. Countries and corporations who are the most responsible for rising greenhouse gas emissions are the least likely to be impacted by climate change. Meanwhile, countries and communities who are the least responsible bear the brunt of climate change’s impacts.

Historically and structurally disadvantaged communities experience this injustice the most. Societal inequities, many caused by the downstream impacts of capitalism and colonisation, place groups such as rangatahi, tangata whenua, tangata moana, people of colour, disabled people, low-income communities, LGBTQIATakatāpui+ folks, women and other marginalised genders on the frontlines of climate change.

Generation Zero sees a climate-just Aotearoa as a place where our economic systems place people and planet over profit and past wrongs are righted. In this vision, all New Zealanders can live well and in balance with Papatūānuku. Those who are the most to blame for climate impacts take action, provide reparations, and ensure meaningful support for frontline communities. Decolonisation and upholding mana motuhake as outlined in Te Tiriti o Waitangi are at the heart of this climate-just future.

Within this vision, Generation Zero imagines spaces where all people are able to live well and where:

  • Tangata whenua are included and equitably represented in democratic processes and climate change responses. 
  • Rangatahi and frontline communities feel that their voices matter in our political systems.
  • Communities understand and can access information about climate justice. 
  • Communities are interconnected, have easy access to essential amenities, and are resilient to the future effects of climate change.
  • Housing is accessible, affordable and resilient to the effects of climate change.
  • Public transport is well-connected, accessible, affordable, sustainable, and equitably distributed.
  • Green and blue spaces are free, accessible, and in abundance.
  • ... and much more!
Simplified, for use where need-be: 

​​Climate change is not only an environmental issue; it is a social issue that impacts our communities unequally. Historically and structurally disadvantaged communities experience this injustice the most due to the downstream impacts of capitalism and colonisation. Generation Zero sees a climate-just Aotearoa as a place where major emitters right their wrongs, our economic systems place people and planet over profit, and frontline communities receive meaningful support to shape their futures. Decolonisation and upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi are at the heart of this climate-just future.