MEDIA RELEASE: Medical Students support Sarah Thomson’s Legal Challenge on Climate Change
The New Zealand Medical Students Association (NZMSA) supports OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council’s recent press release, and law student, Sarah Thomson’s challenge to the Minister for Climate Change issues.
“It is extremely pleasing to see this action taken by a fellow student. It shows that anyone can demonstrate leadership and that we all have a role to play in tackling climate change, which is the defining health issue of our time,” says NZMSA President Kieran Bunn.
There is irrefutable scientific evidence that climate change already poses a significant risk to public health, and it is clear that this issue will only become more significant in New Zealand in the years to come.
“Health professionals have an interest and stake in issues pertaining to public health, the future of our health system, and the wellbeing of New Zealanders. There is irrefutable scientific evidence that climate change already poses a significant risk to public health, and it is clear that this issue will only become more significant in New Zealand in the years to come,” says Aaspreet Boparai, medical student from Otago.
“We are kaitiaki of this whenua, and of all the whānau who inhabit it. Kiwis pride ourselves on punching above our weight and doing what was right because it was right. By refusing to take meaningful action on Climate Change, our government is not only shirking their responsibility, they are also missing an important opportunity to be leaders in one of the most defining issues of our time”, says Kera Sherwood-O’Regan, medical student from Auckland.
“Maori are Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa and share a coexisting relationship with our ancestral landscape. If we fail to bring our future generations into a world that is not environmentally balanced we have also failed to uphold our connections to the past and our responsibilities handed down from our ancestors. Being aware of this can psychologically be detrimental to our wellbeing as Maori, increasing poor health outcomes and decreasing equity” Nga Mihi, Rose Williams Mangai NZMSA.
NZMSA is committed to playing our role in addressing climate change through the launch of two new roles dedicated to climate change advocacy. The aim of this initiative is to increase awareness of climate change issues amongst the medical student body and wider community, and to engage in advocacy.
NZMSA Climate Change Co-Convenor (Auckland)
NZMSA Climate Change Co-Convenor (Otago)