Pupils mark climate strike

Climate challenge: Wakatipu High head boy Archie Ritchie and Board of Trustees student rep Indigo Little

Wakatipu teens will swap cars for bikes, buses and good old fashioned walking to highlight climate change inaction.

Tomorrow is the second Schools Strike for Climate day, and Wakatipu High School pupils are marking the occasion with an alternative transport day.

The first strike, held on March 15, saw hundreds of people march through Queenstown to raise awareness.

Head boy Archie Ritchie, 18, says pupils settled on an alternative transport push for two reasons – it reduces personal carbon emissions, and touches on the topical Queenstown issue of traffic congestion.

He believes it’s a “first step” in getting pupils to change their transport behaviour.

“We definitely don’t get enough utilisation of the bus system,” he says.

Ritchie believes the worldwide climate strikes demonstrate what his generation thinks about the importance of climate change.

“It sends a clear message to politicians about what we’re looking out for.”

Board of Trustees student rep Indigo Little, 16, believes the day will help create awareness.

School principal Steve Hall’s also made a more permanent change by purchasing an E-bike.

“It’s awesome, it’s terrific fun.”

He says it’s great the alternative transport initiative has been student-led.

“You want this one to be a sustainable change.”