4 Dec 2013

'Climate refugee' case going to appeal court

9:30 pm on 4 December 2013

A man who claims climate change has forced him to seek asylum has decided he will continue his legal battle to stay in New Zealand.

Ioane Teitiota is facing deportation to Kiribati after the High Court in Auckland ruled his claim fell short of the legal criteria for refugee status.

Mr Teitiota's lawyer Michael Kidd said on Wednesday the father-of-three will now take his case to the Court of Appeal, where he will argue that rising sea levels are making his homeland uninhabitable.

He said it is unjust to send the family back to a country that may not exist in 20 or 30 years' time.

Dr Kidd said if the Court of Appeal bid is rejected, the family hopes an appeal to the Immigration Minister and the public is more successful.

He said there has been huge interest in Mr Teitiota's case and he spends about 90 minutes each day fielding calls from international media.