Hundreds march for climate action in Auckland

By Nina Fowler

Hundreds took part in the People's Climate March in Auckland on Sunday. Photo / Gil Hanly
Hundreds took part in the People's Climate March in Auckland on Sunday. Photo / Gil Hanly

Hundreds of people marched down Queen Street to draw attention to climate change on Sunday, in one of the first of a series of mass demonstrations around the world.

Organisers have said as many as 600,000 people turned out to thousands of events in the US, Latin America, Europe, India and Australia, including up to 310,000 in New York and up to 30,000 in Melbourne.

The People's Climate March - co-ordinated by international campaign organisation Avaaz - was timed to coincide with the UN Climate Summit in New York.

Crea Land, a co-organiser of the march in Auckland, on Sunday. Photo / Jason Garman
Crea Land, a co-organiser of the march in Auckland, on Sunday. Photo / Jason Garman

The summit, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday and expected to attract over 100 world leaders, is an attempt to build momentum before the next major round of climate change negotiations in Paris in December 2015.

In New Zealand, several hundred people gathered at about 1pm to march up Queen Street from Britomart to Aotea Square.

The march was followed by performances and talks from speakers including Jeanette Fitzsimons, Greenpeace New Zealand and two students - Isabella Lenihan-Ikin, 18, and Jasper Putt, 10.

Liz Rawlings, 53, from Auckland, took part in the march with a friend who had driven up for the event from Hamilton.

"Already we can see a lot of climate change problems, with storms and floods and droughts in parts of the world. A lot of people are losing their lives or at least their homes or livelihoods," she said.

"We just want to get out and show there's some support for climate action in Auckland."

Watch footage of the People's Climate March in Auckland on September 21

Crea Land, 61, one of the co-organisers of the march in Auckland, said she had heard about the global day of action through Avaaz, which reached out to tens of millions of members worldwide to put the event together.

"I answered and several others answered and we all got together then. They connected us up."

She said she was delighted by the turnout and hoped it would help put action to address climate change on the agenda of the new government in New Zealand.

"Climate change is every person's concern and, really, for me, it's very much about the future of this planet. Our children's future is really in our hands."

Some supporters travelled from other cities to take part in the march in Auckland. Photo / Liz Rawlings
Some supporters travelled from other cities to take part in the march in Auckland. Photo / Liz Rawlings
Speakers and participants included Lucy Lawless, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Greenpeace New Zealand and Ngati Whatua Orakei. Photo / Gil Hanly
Speakers and participants included Lucy Lawless, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Greenpeace New Zealand and Ngati Whatua Orakei. Photo / Gil Hanly

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