Communities for Future
Online Summit
Our Response to the Climate Emergency

February 1-10, 2020

Mike Smith

Māori Activist, Social Scientist, Spearhead of Indigenous Community-Centred Climate Solutions
Mike Smith

Mike, the chair of the Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group, is part of the Maori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, who are in particular vulnerable to climate change. Through seeing all the impacts of climate change in his own country, he became an activist and now he responses to the climate emergency with direct actions against oil companies and world leaders who are not living up to their duty of care towards reducing their emissions. He underscores the urgency of our times, the relevance of taking action now and the indigenous worldview in which nature is the overarching supreme law.

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  • Introduction
  • Impact of climate change and activism
  • Reasons for the strong community spirit and resilience of the Maori
  • Taking legal action against world leaders
  • Shifting to courage and collective action
  • Demand transformation and reduce emissions
Mike Smith

Mike Smith is the Chairperson of the Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group, currently exploring strategic pathways for the National Iwi Chairs Forum, who represent Māōri authorities across Aotearoa (New Zealand) and also the Māori Climate Network. He champions Māori community leaders working toward collective solutions to goals of reduction in all greenhouse gases, and accelerating hapū and iwi (traditional Māori authorities) building resilience to the increasing impacts and implications of climate change.

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  • Sabina

    Kia ora, Mike for all that you do; I cried along with the interviewer, have known about Mike for almost 30 years now, he has always followed his heart and spoken his mind…it would be wonderful to see him run for Prime Minister of Aotearoa, I would vote for him without any hesitation and I am just a Pakeha woman…thank you for this, GEN!

  • Kim

    Dear Mike, Thank you for your vision – A billion acts of heroism!

  • Mike did not mix his words and made it clear to anyone listening that we have no time to waste.
    It would be great to see more community & circular economy action on Pyrogenic Carbon Capture & Sequestration PyCCS as outlined by Albert Bates & Kathleen Draper in Carbon Cascades: BURN Using Fire to Cool the Earth, and as Kathleen earlier outlined in the Biochar Displacement Strategy that can be found quickly via the Biochar Journal.
    The NZBI / New Zealand Biochar Initiative and Mike Smith could collaboratively demonstrate and showcase what practical things can be done with some clever realisation that ‘there is no such thing as Waste in Nature’, just wasted opportunities in societies.
    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with us all.

  • Rashmi patel

    The urgent need for a global collective security and peace with Global governance to safeguard our earth and all living beings .

  • Katy

    Thank you so much Mike. I felt a sense of power from you which nourished something in me.

    Many blessings fro Sarasota Florida, US

  • Priscilla Boucher

    Thank you for your grounded, powerful and inspiring message and for sharing strategies and actions! We are blessed to have you among the many taking action around the world. Such a wonderful antidote to “hopeium.” Blessings to you and all those you work with.

  • Deirdre (Milton Keynes) UK

    Hi Mike I felt so uplifted by sharing your action plans and your commitment to change in such a courageous way. I’m sure you will inspire many of us to get up and go!

    I heard you talking about taking NZs Common Agricultural policy to Court and also the quality of the waters. My daughter and her family have been living in Wellington for some years and she is extremely worried about the 1080 poison being
    dropped from helicopters all over your beautiful islands. She believes she was drinking contaminated water from the well at her home in Lower Hutt. She is making a slow recovery thank God and has decided return with husband and family to the UK. Im sure you are aware of this practice and how devastating it is to life and the water sources. Our rivers arnt clean either!
    We used to be able to bath and swim in them but certainly not now.

    Thank you again for your time and inspiration
    Warm Wishes

  • Alistair McKee

    Kia ora Mike and greetings to Earth community. Deep thanks Mike for your strong kõrero/talk. Here in Õtaki our Kāpiti Coast lical government is sponsoeing a “climate summit” on 8th March. I hope Iwi leaders will front up to lead us to deepen the ambition and broaden the agenda around Treaty-based citizenship, assembly, participation and governance beyond “taku tai/my coast”. Here is the link to the assembly:

  • Kia pai to mahi Mike e to whanau! Thank you so much for sharing with us your clear and courageous way of thinking and emphasising the need for collective action.
    Kia kaha

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