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Local CEOs backing schools’ strike action on climate change

Tairawhiti businesses are right behind the climate change strike on Friday.

Hikurangi Cannabis Company will send staff to support the cause, and the CEOs of Eastland Community Trust (ECT) and Eastland Group have also backed the protest.

The School Strike 4 Climate is being held around New Zealand, a week on from the world protest last Friday.

It will start in Gisborne at Childers Road Reserve, at 12 midday where strikers will assemble before marching down Gladstone Road.

One of the organisers, Gisborne Girls’ High School student Maia Ingoe, said the plan was to arrive at the Gisborne District Council chambers by 1.30pm.

There will be student speakers, musicians, and the opportunity for candidates in the upcoming local body elections to be questioned about their plans for climate change, along with MPs Kiri Allan and Anne Tolley arriving just after 2pm.

“We are in the middle of a global emergency,” said Maia.

“Islands are sinking, forests are burning, and all of Earth’s species, including humans, are under threat from climate change. We need urgent action.”

Hikurangi Cannabis Company challenged other companies to join them in sending staff to support the protest.

CEO Manu Caddie said he encouraged all 22 staff to participate as a demonstration of the commitment the company is making to address the climate crisis.

Eastland Community Trust chief executive Gavin Murphy has put his support behind the strike too.

“It is inspiring to see a new generation leading the climate change protest and the trust wants to show its support.

“We recognise the massive impact the climate crisis will have on our communities’ wellbeing. As well as getting our own house in order by reducing the trust’s greenhouse gas emissions, we’re looking at how we can support business and communities as we transition to a zero emissions economy.

Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said climate change was the biggest threat facing the world, and doing nothing was simply no longer an option.

“We need to act. That’s why Eastland Group and Eastland Community Trust have joined the Climate Leaders Coalition. We’re currently undertaking a project to measure our emissions, and plan to work with our stakeholders, customers and the community to help lead Tairawhiti towards a zero carbon future.