Be true unto yourself

‘Climate Refugee’ Fighting to Stay in New Zealand


Ioane Teitiota and his family of  -three children born in NZ - are fighting to stay in New Zealand.


Ioane and his wife Angua came to New Zealand in 2007 because they didn't see a future in their home in Kiribati and gave evidence to the Immigration Protection Tribunal in early 2013, that they were afraid for their lives and of their children, if forced to go back. This is because of rising sea levels. The danger to their children from gastro-intestinal  diseases and the in-ability to get fresh water and grow their crops is getting worse.


Their application for refugee status was refused by the Tribunal, and  by the High Court of New Zealand  in November 2013. On further appeal by the Court of Appeal May 2014 and the Supreme Court of New Zealand July 2015, Mr Ioane and his family were refused refugee status due to climate change—as refugee law does not recognize such a category.


Appeal to The United Human Rights Committee


Under the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, Mr. Ioane and his family are appealing to the Human Rights Committee Geneva in Switzerland . The New Zealand and Kiribati Governments are respondents. Mr Teitiota and his family were deported at the end of September 2015 and remain in a difficult position with family in Kiribati.