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Kindergarten defends climate protest: 'We're educating the future generation'

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 14 March 2019, 8:46a.m.
Waihi Kindergarten children prepare to join the global school strike for climate on March 15 with their head teacher Kate Mullaney (right). Photo / Rebecca Mauger, Bay of Plenty Times

The head teacher at a kindergarten planning a climate change protest says it's a chance for children to express their beliefs.

The small gold mining town of Waihi has been divided over a global "school strike for climate" which has now drawn in children at kindergarten as well as local schools.

Waihi Kindergarten head teacher Kate Mullaney said most of her preschool children would join up to 200 students from Waihi College and local primary schools on a march through the town tomorrow to meet Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga.

She told Mike Hosking they're trying to teach the children about the climate from an early age.

"We are educating the future generation. We are an enviro school, so we very much follow the kaupapa of enviro schools which aims to foster a generation of people who think and act sustainably."

When asked whether any of the students actually know what they are protesting, Mullaney said yes.

"If you asked them what do you think we can do to look after our planet? They would probably say to you, stop using plastic, stop throwing rubbish in the ocean, compost, have worm farms, take care of the trees, be kind to each other."

She said the protest was a chance for the children to express themselves.

"They are going out with their own placards, which they have painted and we have written their own words for them."

"In order for there to be change, for the climate, for social justice, for the world, we have to create a community of care, people that actually care about each other and the planet."

"If we want children to save the world we must connect to them, they can't protect anything if they're not connected to it."

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