Nakia has always felt a strong connection with Papatūānuku and this has been a guiding force throughout her life. Of Ngāti Kahu descent, but growing up in Central Otago, Nakia competed in outdoor endurance sports as a teenager such as mountain biking and white-water kayaking. On reflection, she sees that her desire to reconnect with our land and waters is what drove her to these pursuits.
Currently completing a law degree at Victoria University, Nakia’s key areas of interest are environmental law and indigenous law. During her degree she hit pause on her study for a couple of years and hugely values the learnings and perspective gained during this time. When living and travelling abroad she began thinking about what relationships with the Earth look like for other cultures, and how climate justice is central to any and every environmental issue around the world.
Climate change for Nakia brings up feelings of both sadness and hope. She sees that climate change is reflective of the extreme disregard of peoples and land that occurs in decision-making. However, she also sees that there is opportunity in this space for indigenous perspectives and knowledge to create solutions. Indigenous rangatahi can play an important role in this and Nakia is therefore extremely grateful to be a part of the Te Ara Whatu delegation attending COP24.