Climate change  |  30 Jun 2022

A new short film that shines a spotlight on how children in Ōtautahi-Christchurch are influencing the climate change journey has been screened publicly for the first time.

We Asked To Be Heard tells the story of Next Generation Conversation, a coalition of climate change activists aged between 10 and 14 years old in Ōtautahi-Christchurch.

The group submitted on Christchurch City Council’s Coastal Hazard Adaptation Framework and the film, which had its first screening at Tūranga on Wednesday night, 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. Submitters wanted education to be made more prevalent to increase people’s awareness of climate science and this was added to the framework as a result.  

“One of the guiding principles in our Coastal Adaptation Framework is to recognise inter-generational equity issues. We need to ensure the burden isn’t squarely on the shoulders of our future generations”, says Team Leader Adaptation Planning Jane Morgan.

“It was exciting to see the level of engagement grow within the students as the consultation progressed and they saw how their feedback could make an impact.”

Watch the short film We Asked To Be Heard.