Tena koe Madam Speaker me nga mema o paremata rangatahi ma, tena koutou katoa.
The world is our place but Aotearoa is where we call home, is it not?
I ask the question: If we love our country, why are we destroying it?
What gives us the right as people of this nation to call Aotearoa our home when it is ourselves who are destroying the very earth that nurtures us?
My Nan once told me a story about her Mum, when she was a young girl who at the time was ten years of age.
She lived with her many younger siblings, Nan, Koro, Mum and DadÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.and it was takeaway night. Yep Fish and chips!
Being the eldest she was sent to pick up the kai.
With her kete she takes a stroll through the fern flats, over the stony creek, across the grass paddock and down the dirt pathway until she arrives at her destination.
On the riverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s edge she quietly recites a prayer giving thanks that she has arrived safely at the fish shop and for the food she is about to receive.
Mum, Dad, Nan, Koro, baby brother, sisters, she counts her tribe.
She has her kai and now heads on home. At home her Mum has already prepared the potatoes and so Madam Speaker and fellow Members, I present to you the first takeaways before McDonalds and KFC arrivedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦..Fish and chips as natural as it getsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.Maori Styles.
The river back then was the first port of call, it was many things. The main highway for travelÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ the swimming bathsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ the first fish shop for takeawaysÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ the laundretteÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ the mall to hang out, to share and trade food and goodsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ the awa and its surroundings were indeed a central part of my NanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life, and those before her.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“NanÃ¢â‚¬Â I asked: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Things were simple then ayeÃ¢â‚¬Â?
Holding firm her walking stick, with eyes that told a thousand stories, she, gazing out her window with a smile, nods and replied.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ae Moko Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ma te manaaki whenua, ka ora ae te iwiÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When you look after and respect the land, the people will flourishÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Stop and thinkÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ The old days, and nowÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ 2007
In a time when gadgets make the job quicker Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we never seem to have enough time to do everything.
In 2007 we are supposed to know more Ã¢â‚¬â€œ yet we know less
We are told to look towards a prosperous future Ã¢â‚¬â€œ yet we have ignored the ever so important lessons of the past.
We once heard Ã¢â‚¬Å“One small step for man, was one great leap for mankindÃ¢â‚¬Â - although we have reached the moon, we have forgotten to care for the earth.
Technology has come to us in abundance Ã¢â‚¬Â¦..but at a price Madam speaker and fellow friendsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ it has cost us the earth.
I am being taught today about conservation, global warming and the importance of caring for the planet.
In the old days they did not need to be reminded, they lived it.
Indeed as my Nan said, things were simple Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you cared for the land and in return the land cared for you
Therefore, I am not here to give you all the statistics and present all the research done by the many scientists from near and afar
- we have seen the damage being caused;
- we have seen the changes happening around the world;
A small change today will make a huge difference to our future and indeed our future generations.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to stop thinking and start acting.
Celebrate a special occasion by planting a tree and not buying another electronic device;
Bike or walk instead of driving everywhere and going nowhere;
Put out your smoke before you light it up;
Drink water instead of coke;
Put your rubbish in the bin and not out the window.
Always remember that global warming does not know about the colour of your skin or who your parents are.
In the end it affects everyone.
All races and nations of the world have a responsibility to protect our earth.
Showing respect today will pay generous dividends for tomorrow.
So as I end my speech, I want to point out to you, if we call this our home, why is that we are destroying it?
We each have the capacity to make a change, to offer something positive toward our future.
No reira, Madam Speaker, fellow friends, I leave you with this proverb.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nou te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora ae te iwiÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Ã¢â‚¬Å“
Ã¢â‚¬Å“With your basket of knowledge and my basket of knowledge together we can ensure a bright and prosperous future for us allÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
Ariana Emery was the Youth MP for Te Tai Hauauru, selected by Tariana Turia.
She is of Ngati Whatua ki Orakei, Maniapoto, Waikato, and Ngati Apa whakapapa.
She lives in Whanganui where she attends Whanganui City College.