Kerri Nuku, Kaiwhakahaere
Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa NZNO
I want to use this blog to highlight the devastating flooding in Pakistan, which has led to hundreds of lives lost and millions displaced. I send my deepest aroha and solidarity to those communities being ravaged by this climate catastrophe. It was created through greed and the powerful believing in endless expansion on a finite planet.
I think it’s important to point out that these communities are bearing the brunt of something that they are not responsible for. Just like with islands being swallowed in the Pacific, or the droughts and forest fires in Australia, climate change is wreaking havoc on indigenous people, on workers, and on te taiao. Meanwhile the billionaires who are actually responsible for the massive extraction, consumption, waste and pollution are taking nine-minute private jet rides and planning to live on Mars.
As nurses we can understand the injustice of being saddled with the outcomes of a system that’s not of our own doing. We’re at the coalface dealing with terrible working conditions and seeing first-hand how inequality is ruining people’s health. And even though we weren’t responsible for the system we work in, we fight to change it, both for ourselves and for our patients. That’s why we rallied for Primary Health Care earlier this week and why we will continue to fight for change.
In the same vein, we have a responsibility to fight in solidarity with communities across the globe struggling through climate change. Part of the aim of Maranga Mai! is to build a more emboldened, political voice that pushes on all issues that affect health and workers. As nurses and unionists we have a role and responsibility to speak up on climate change because we know how intimately linked health and the climate are. And, much like trying to improve the health system, we know decision makers won’t be bold enough unless we stand up and take action.