Open letter to TVNZ & MediaWorks regarding the 2020 NZ election



Everyone is busy.

Everyone is under stress and pressure.


A series of events are currently unfolding to calls us all to go further and aim higher.

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Those series of events are the current explosion in climate change events that mark an acceleration of warming and catastrophic weather events.

This pandemic is evidence of the type of symptoms a rapidly warming climate creates. The overpopulation and habitat destruction that allows virus to jump species will become the norm, not the exception.

The following is from Bloomberg, hardly a radical green voice of hyperbole…

  • Record breaking temperatures around the planet.
  • Siberia is on fire and as permafrost thaws, it risks releasing a methane giga-tonne bomb.
  • Ninety-three percent of heat captured by greenhouse gases since the 1970s have been absorbed by the oceans.
  • Hurricanes in America have made landfall in numbers before the end of August that have never been seen before.
  • Agricultural calendar disruption – the changing and ever extreme weather events are now disrupting global supply chains for food production. Low water levels caused up to a 15% rise in costs to cross the Panama Canal.
  • California’s extreme forrest fires are the new annual reality.

…oh and the ‘doomsday’ glacier in Antarctica is far more unstable than we ever previously feared…

Over the past three decades, the rate of ice loss from Thwaites, which is about the size of Great Britain or the US state of Florida, and its neighboring glaciers has increased more than five-fold.

If Thwaites were to collapse, it could lead to an increase in sea levels of around 25 inches (64 centimeters) — and the researchers are trying to find out how soon this is likely to happen.

…in short, we are seeing an acceleration of warming dynamics that demand immediate political attention.

We are less than 5 weeks from an election and the issue of the climate crisis is utterly missing from the agenda.

This requires courage and leadership from our media to truly hold the powerful to account.

TVNZ and MediaWorks should step up to this challenge and join forces to do a simulcast live debate across both networks on Friday 16th October that is focused on the Leaders of Labour, National, Greens, NZF, ACT, TOP and the Māori Party debating the current climate crisis.

The pandemic is but the first wave of that climate crisis and our need for radical resilience in how to deal with the Virus needs to be part of that debate.

Co-hosted by Patrick Gower and John Campbell asking questions directly to the Leaders with Tova O’Brien and Jessica Mutch testing those answers against an expert panel after the debate.

In climate change we face an existential threat that demands an immediate focus or else the political establishment will ignore it until it can’t be ignored.

There are no political TV debates booked for Friday 16th. A joint simulcast debate by both networks would cement in an unprecedented audience and force the issue of the climate crisis front and centre the day before the 2020 NZ election.

The moment to be a courageous Fourth Estate is now.

The climate crisis is coming whether we ignore it or not.

This is the moment for MediaWorks and TVNZ to lead.


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  1. “TVNZ and MediaWorks should step up to this challenge and join forces to do a simulcast live debate across both networks on Friday 16th October that is focused on the Leaders of Labour, National, Greens, NZF, ACT, TOP and the Māori Party debating the current climate crisis.”

    My family marched in Gisborne on the first day of the Global school strike for climate change.

    That day on march on 15th March 2019 occurred just before the Christchurch bombing and we always wonder at the “timing of the bombing and of any connection to oil interests who wanted to kill the whole global concerns about climate change and their complicit involvement in the issue?

    Since that fateful day virtually never was there any deep global focus again sadly so we agree that the media is totally vacant on focusing on the continuing subject of our climate change heading our way today as it is getting worse not better.


    • Ahhhh…point of order there CG. There was no bombing in Christchurch. There was however a horrific mass shooting event on 15 March 2019. A little nit picky maybe, but hey, lets get the facts right at least.

  2. Climate Emergency Overdrive
    “If you go back and look at the predictions of climate scientists about 2020, you’ll see that they gave a range, of best- and worst-case scenarios. In every instance, it is the worst case scenario that has come to pass. Even the most jaded and alarmed scientists in 2000 were not pessimistic enough.” Climate Emergency Overdrive, Our Age of Compound Disasters

    We’re “Perfectly On Track for the Worst Case Scenario”
    “The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which hold enough frozen water to lift oceans 65 metres, are tracking the UN’s worst-case scenarios for sea level rise, researchers said Monday, highlighting flaws in current climate change models.” [Yes, that’s 65 METRES.] Science Alert, Warning of Worst Case Scenario Ahead

  3. Labour have no plan for Climate Change. Haven’t had one in years and never will do unless forced. Last time they tried ,some dumbarse agricultural moron drove his tractor up the steps of parliament and referred in full on misogyny to our then prime Minister as a silly cow. And loads of hot air ensued as it does when the boys are talking etc. Labour backed down and haven’t gone there since. That was 20 years ago and the fart tax was right on target. Fuck the agricultural sector fuck the pollies and fuck the idiots in the public service.We haven’t got the expertise can’t even get a decent tree planting program together and think trade is more important than survival. Labour has no plan and there is little understanding of the true nature of what we have to do to survive among the general populace.
    There in no technical know-how and the ability to carry out the necessary and immediate changes to our lifestyles simply aren’t available in NZ. 9 years of dumb down from John Key and National destroyed what knowledge base there was. It’s survival of the fittest and get your own lifeboat time folks. There is no captain or crew coming to help you and your whanau.

      • My sister was one of the scientists who did the data on the fart tax. I have no need to be nice or liked at this stage of life, but thanks for the advice . I t has been my experience that being nice and natural and decent etc means one gets shafted . Cheers cleangreen.

    • Great comments Shona, completely agree and love the passion.

      That dick on his tractor had the surname of Ardern. A Natz MP living just out of Opunake my old home town. Rich git, never saw him at the pub with the locals, too busy with his mates in Wellywood to lower himself down to our level.

      • I believe that the “dick on a tractor” Shane Ardern actually is a distant cousin of Jacinda Ardern.
        Jacinda did say once that most of her extended family were solid National.

  4. ” This is the moment for MediaWorks and TVNZ to lead ”
    Lead what ? they don’t even acknowledge that the extinction is actually happening they just report the effects.
    A fair and balanced media concerned with the truth and facts is the only way to highlight the seriousness of what we ALL face , rich , wanna be rich , middle class and the economically deprived. Our media we sold out years ago and are the standard bearers of the neoliberal system.Time to acknowledge there will be no future generations except those living underground.

  5. David Attenborough’s new production is Extinction, The Facts

    The programme is uncompromising in its depiction of the crisis in the natural world, admits Serena Davies, the film’s director.

    “Our job is to report the reality the evidence presents,” she explains.

    But the programme does not leave the audience feeling that all is lost. Sir David makes clear there is still cause for hope.

    “His aim is not to try and drag the audience into the depths of despair,” Davies says, “but to take people on a journey that makes them realise what is driving these issues so we can also solve them.”

  6. Now is the moment for MediaWorks and TVNZ to lead. What expectation of that and leading to exactly where?

    My pick is straight on up that garden path they’ve been ruthlessly manufacturing and cultivating. This will be ‘all their Christmases coming at once’ moment.

  7. Martyn’s right. Shona’s bang on. The media are a failed estate and the “wise apes” are perfectly stupid en masse.

    All a bit disappointing, really.

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