Destined to do something
Gen has always had an interest in environmental issues and considers herself an advocate for both the environment and social justice.
As a child, she protested the Springbok Tour with her grandparents and while studying at Canterbury University she unsuccessfully tried to get recycling implemented within the campus.
The idea was adopted by the university years later.
"I've recognised for a while now that I'm a forward thinker- my ideas are a bit ahead of my time," Gen says.
Gen went on to be involved in raising awareness about the Trans Pacific Partnership, but it was a 2016 talk by an American scientist, Guy McPherson, best known for his views on human extinction, that the potential for near-term human extinction from climate change really hit home.
"His message was stark and frightening, but the thing that really got to me was something Kevin Hester, who was hosting him, said to me over a beer.
"Kevin said 'The thing about us going extinct is we're leaving behind 450 nuclear power stations that need constant monitoring and unless we work out a way to do that in perpetuity, we are going to leave behind us a nuclear catastrophe that is going to wreck the planet for billions of years.
"That sent me into a real spin. Not only have we managed to devastate the entire planet in a few hundred years, our legacy is going to be this terrible wasteland."
Standing up to climate change
Gen protesting climate change as part of the Extinction Rebellion movement. Photo credit: Marney Brosnan
So, when Extinction Rebellion (XR) began in the UK last year, Gen helped launch the movement in Christchurch/Otautahi.
The XR movement seeks to use civil disobedience and peaceful protests to put pressure on the government to create change and seek solutions to climate change.
"Average, normal people who have never been in trouble with the law before suddenly decide this is important enough to get arrested over…something's up. XR have a really strong theory of change around that and I think it has merit."
In December last year, Gen was one of five protestors arrested outside Environment Canterbury's Christchurch office.
Is it ironic then that someone who has protested at Environment Canterbury, is also on a water zone committee?