Action stations . . . Cushla Bridges and Fergus McMullan (both 16) are encouraging people to join them when they strike to raise awareness for climate change issues on April 9. PHOTO: ASHLEY SMYTH

Waitaki secondary school pupils will strike for the first time next Friday to raise awareness of the environmental issues relevant to this area.

St Kevin’s College year 12 pupils Fergus McMullan and Chloe Bridges (both 16) will make up part of the Students Strike 4 Climate contingent, which will involve all three Oamaru secondary schools.

The national Students Strike 4 Climate group presented Climate Change Minister James Shaw with a list of six areas requiring immediate attention at Parliament in January.

At a regional level, Waitaki pupils would focus on three of those, Fergus said.

Cushla said the first was ensuring New Zealand supported its “Pacific Island neighbours”, because there was a large Pacific Island community in North Otago, and their islands were being directly affected by rising sea levels.

The second issue related to agricultural emissions, because there was plenty of farming in the area.

Fergus said it was not about cutting back on farming.

“Because, of course, we really need farmers.

“The reason we’ve chosen that demand is because we really need to work with farmers, and we live in a rural area, and, like, it’s really important we have solidarity in our stand. This is for everyone.”

The final demand was about providing education involving climate change, Chloe said.

“Just making sure that, us as a younger generation, actually know what is happening.”

The protesters would meet at Orana Park, in Thames Hwy, at 11am and march to Friendly Bay. They would stop at Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean’s office to hand over written demands for her to present to Parliament.

Pupils from all around the country would be striking at the same time on the same day, Fergus said.

“We’re not necessarily going to make a huge change in the world, but it’s about doing your part.”

The pupils welcomed anybody of any age who wanted to join the march, and encouraged them to bring placards. They preferred pupils joined them for “the right reasons” rather than just time off school, Cushla said.