New Zealand is in a national state of emergency as it continues to be battered by the cyclone, which has caused widespread flooding and enormous destruction across the North Island. It is the third national emergency to be declared in the country’s history.
The scale of damage is not yet known, with entire regions cut off from road access, electricity and mobile networks, neighbourhoods submerged by flood waters and landslides destroying homes and state highways.
Shaw, who is co-leader of the Green party, attributed the scale of the disaster to the climate crisis, saying: “There will be people who say it’s ‘too soon’ to talk about these things … but we are standing in it right now. This is a climate change-related event. The severity of it, of course, made worse by the fact that our global temperatures have already increased by 1.1 degrees.