A Kiribati climate change campaigner and sporting idol David Katoatau says in one generation the entire country could be seeking environmental refugee status.
The Commonwealth gold medal winning weightlifter says it will be scary for the Kiribati family being deported from New Zealand after losing a bid to be declared climate change refugees.
He says it is hard to live in the country which has a grim future and the children will find it scary when the ocean comes and covers the land.
He says the case has helped get the message out about the effects of climate change even though it was not successful.
Katoatau says the Kiribati community feels the family should stay in New Zealand for the future of the children as they have a better chance of survival.