'We still haven't fully lived yet' - Rangatahi worry for Papatūānuku

By Te Ao with MOANA
Youth MPs Rebekah Raihana and Watene Campbell spoke to Te Ao with Moana about the big issues for rangatahi. Photo/File.

Two Māori Youth MPs say they have barely had a chance to live yet, but already they are worrying about caring for Papatūānuku.

"At the end of the day, we still haven't fully lived yet, we're still at school, we've got all these aspirations to look forward to, but how can we focus on that when we've got our environment, our whenua, to look after?" says Rebekah Raihana.

She and Watene Campbell were among 120 youth MPs and 20 youth press gallery members who attended the Youth Parliament, at the real parliament, last month.

Campbell told Te Ao with Moana the climate crisis is one of the most spoken about issues for young people today, as shown by the school strikes for climate and other protest action.

"It is stressful in a way because we know if we don't make change now it's probably not going to look good for the younger generation."

Raihana says it was a "good vibe" being with other inspirational rangatahi at the Youth Parliament and she was particularly impressed with how alike they were in their concern for the evironment.

"It was interesting to see how many of us were so passionate about it, regardless of what schools we went to, where we lived and how we were so like-minded." 

Campbell says, "We have a passion to look after our evironment to nurture it for the younger generations."