This week, we're profiling the 10 finalists for the Herald's New Zealander of the Year, and they're all aged under 30

Maintaining political momentum on an issue like climate change can be hard, public interest often glazing over at the frequent debate on emission targets and empty rhetoric.

But a young Auckland doctor and other activists are gaining real attention - and causing a few politicians to look over their shoulders - by focusing on specifics and possible solutions.

Dr Sudhvir Singh, 26, is the Auckland director for Generation Zero, a group of mostly young professionals promoting solutions to climate change through transport, energy and liveable cities.

Many Aucklanders will have seen the London Underground-style posters outlining the group's transport vision, with rail, bus, light-rail and ferry routes stretching out through the Super City by 2030.


A plan for Wellington includes Copenhagen-style cycle networks and a smart car sharing system.

"We are very keen to be positive. A lot of climate change stuff can be quite depressing, so we are keen to show there are win-win solutions for New Zealand available right in front of us," says Dr Singh, who works at Auckland City Hospital.

"The (transport) map is really cool, and it has excited a lot of people. But it's backed up by a decent, detailed plan, working with transport experts."

During the recent local elections, Generation Zero created candidates' scorecards based on their positions on transport, urban planning (its members favour well-designed intensification over urban sprawl), cycling and climate change.

Mayoral and ward candidates had to prove they were passionate and understood the issues well.

Who is your New Zealander of the Year for 2013?

Other under-30 finalists so far

Steven Adams
Ella Yelich-O'Connor (Lorde)
Ben Uffindell
Lydia Ko
Kieran Read