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It's time for NZ to declare a climate emergency, majority of Kiwis say in new poll

It is time New Zealand declared a climate emergency - that's the message the public is giving the Government, according to the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll. 

It is the same plea a small group of protestors have been pushing from Parliament's front lawn for the last 29 days. 

Climate protester Ollie Langridge has said we will not leave until a climate emergency is declared. 

"I'm a regular guy, I'm just a dad that is concerned for the future of his kids - it's as simple as that," he told 1 NEWS. 

"We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors - we protect it for our children and we're doing an awful job of that at the moment."

The latest poll asked the public, "Do you think the New Zealand Government should declare a climate change emergency?"

Of those who were polled, 53 per cent answered yes, 39 per cent said no, and eight per cent did not know. 

Those who were more likely to agree that the Government should declare a climate change emergency were Green Party supporters, Pacific peoples, people aged 18-34, Labour Party supporters and Māori. 

Those who were more likely to be against were National Party supporters, men aged 55 and over and New Zealand Europeans. 

A climate emergency would be "largely symbolic", with Mr Langridge saying once that was achieved legislation could be enacted "to make sure we can actually get to carbon zero". 

He added: "2050 is not good enough [and] 2025 is probably not good enough. We need to act now."

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said as the consequences of climate change - such as floods, fires and storms - show "we need to treat it as such". 

"A declaration of a climate emergency is a huge signal to the public service that this is one of the top priorities at the political level in New Zealand," he said.

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    Marcail Parkinson and Luke Wijohn spoke to 1 NEWS about the importance of the event. Source: 1 NEWS

    The Green Party recently attempted to declare a climate emergency. The move was blocked by National. 

    National MP Todd Muller said he understands the sentiment of a climate change emergency, but "really it's just symbolism, you know. There's no plan or action plan that sits behind it". 

    "But I think what really matters in climate change debate and policy is action."

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was the "action that matters", and that the Government is making "good progress" via the Zero Carbon Bill

    It comes as Auckland Council is the latest to declare a climate emergency

    Mayor Phil Goff said city officials had to "protect our infrastructure and deal with the fact that some people's homes will become unliveable". 

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      The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll found 53 per cent of respondents in favour of the move. Source: 1 NEWS