Kiwi climate change poll has stunning results as Niwa attacks MetService

A recent poll asking how concerned New Zealanders are about the climate has produced a shock result and suggests the Government has failed at educating people as their focus on profits outweighs the science and public good.

The poll, which had over 1000 votes in the first 24 hours, strongly suggests climate change isn't very concerning to almost half of the population - a result we did not expect. The poll was conducted on Twitter which historically leans left. It is not scientific but it's a good gauge. " has a strong rural following but Auckland is by far where most of our audience comes from so this poll really is quite stunning to us, that so many people aren't concerned".

The poll asked "As someone living in New Zealand, how much does Climate Change concern you as of today?". 49% voted "No Concern" while 27% said climate change here in New Zealand was of "massive" concern.

Niwa, a tax funded Crown Research Institute that was once the main voice of climate change, now aggressively competes against MetService for dollars in the weather sector. There are *far* more headlines about Niwa doing weather forecasting against MetService than there is about climate research. Niwa has almost abandoned a relationship with the media on climate change and the majority of their tweets are weather news and weather headline related. 

Minister Megan Woods admitted to at the Beehive last year that her main focus is for Niwa to make profits she "can spend". Well, as Niwa's focus on attacking tax owned MetService has strengthened, it seems climate science takes more of a back seat in the public domain. Minister Megan Woods is making a profit to spend but it's coming at a cost to the public.

So, is it really that surprising that so many New Zealanders aren't concerned about Climate Change if the Government itself wants Niwa going after MetService's weather clients as Niwa's new priority?

Niwa won't even work with WeatherWatch (NZ's largest private forecaster) since this Government took office. That is remarkable. When we brought this up with Megan Woods she said as Minister for Science it wasn't her place to get involved. As simple as that. Remember, Niwa is a 100% publicly owned Crown Research Institute - they are not supposed to be commercial weather people going directly up against MetService, who NZers *do* fund to provide weather services. Their priorities from the top down seem wrong.

Georgina Griffiths, once at Niwa and now at MetService, told us in 2011 "we don't need your help" educating the public on climate change after she rang us in 2011 to have a go at our free services. 

When it comes to climate data, Niwa wanted to charge WeatherWatch seven figures to access tax funded observational data and share that back with you, the people. Think about that - over a million dollars for something that is free in all other nations because the taxpayers built it. It's not very surprising the Commerce Commission is now investigating Niwa for anti-competitive behaviour and possible market place abuse.

Students at Universities tell us they need to sign waivers to Niwa just to access climate data to use in their studies.  When we reached out to the Greens about this, they never replied to us.

So if Niwa is now more in the news competing with MetService for weather headlines and selling weather data, and Niwa won't work with the private sector around climate change and the Science Minister is much more focused on spending profits, then really is it that surprising that so many Kiwis don't rate climate change as the serious issue some politicians make it out to be?. If it was a crisis, Niwa as a 100% public agency would be opening their doors - not closing them and charging the public to have a look.

This is frustrating for WeatherWatch as all we want to do is get more facts out there, more discussion and more understanding of how climate change affects New Zealand in the years ahead - but it very much seems one way with Niwa/The Government not as interested as helping those that fund their entire existence, instead they are about making a profit and hurting MetService's mana these days.

- Opinion piece by head forecaster Philip Duncan 


Climate Change and the Question

Hi Phil, Regarding the current Climate Change debate, there is a question, which if you don't answer, there is no rational basis whatsoever for taking any action whatsoever to make global warming go away. That question, that they have never answered is this one: "What is the ideal global mean surface temperature?" Has anyone seen in the IPCC reports any estimate of what the ideal global mean surface temperature is, or in any scientific papers or in any of the pressure groups of what the ideal global mean surface temperature is? That should tell you all that you need to know about whether this subject is an economic subject and a scientific subject, which is necessary for us to act, or whether it is a purely political subject in which the totalitarian faction have seized upon to try to make us feel guilty and to end up destroying western freedom, prosperity and independence. That's what it is all about. Clearly, if you don't answer that question, there is no rational basis for action.

Climate change is here

There are a variety of facts as to why earths climate changes but if one does their basic research its the sun that is responsible for driving the climate. Solar cycles have maximum and minimum periods of 11 years plus repeating cycles of 200 and 400 years. Research will show the effect these cycles have on our planet especially in relation to sun spot activity and our magnetic field in relation to cosmic radiation. (Jet streams have broken down ) NASA had a web page up explaining how the sun drives our climate which now can't be accessed ( taken down in 2011 because it didn't fit global warming carbon tax theory ) however they show the solar cycles and the minimum we are entering. We are at the end of solar cycle 24 and cold weather records are being broken all across the Northern hemisphere especially in America where polar weather is 10 weeks earlier then normal. UK and Europe are colder with polar weather. For further research on this subject " Maunders minimum " Dalton minimum " Little ice ages. You tube, Adapt 2030.

Climate change reality.

Congratulations to at least 49% of Kiwis, they at least have common sense! The truth about the ever changing climate is being totally ignored by the so called 11,000 plus “CLIMATE SCIENTISTS”, who the protesters seem determined to follow, along with the illogical mantra of their founder, Marxist Roger Hallam, (a self styled prophet currently in jail, who claims that his “Extinction Rebellion” cause is based on “Common Sense”), plus the discredited research of Prof. Wallace Smith Broecker of the Columbia University Earth Sciences Laboratory, once known as the “Grandfather of Climate Change”. The following is easy to find for anyone who uses a bit of REAL research and REAL “COMMON SENSE”. It is a small part of what are known as the Milankovitch cycles. The Axis of the Earth is currently moving “upright” in relation to its orbit as part of its perfectly normal “wobble”, known as Axial precession. It is moving at approximately 14.5 metres a year. This means that those imaginary circles around the planet, the Arctic Circle, the Antarctic Circle are both moving closer to their respective poles by that amount. Also, the imaginary lines of the tropics, Cancer and Capricorn, are both moving at the same speed towards the Equator. This is resulting in the position of the Sun in the sky is over the tropics for longer, and is moving slower between the two extremes of its apparent travel, resulting in changes to tropical winds and monsoons. As a result, in the Arctic and Antarctic it means that the Sun is actually getting higher in the sky in the summer, meaning that it is warming more of the Earth’s surface at the poles as it has done for around 6.5 thousand years. The current angle at the time of writing is 23.26 degrees. The variation in the angle of Axis is from 22.1 degrees to 24.5 degrees. (The full cycle of the Wobble takes around 26, 000 years.) This is on of the major reasons polar ice is melting and ice caps receding, although there are variations due to other Earth forces like earthquakes, volcanoes and tectonic plate movement. As the wobble is about half way through this upright bound portion, it means the temperatures at the polar regions will keep increasing for about another 6,000 years, until the angle gets to approximately 22.1 degrees and starts increasing again for another 13,000 years to make it all cold again, but it has been doing this for over four billion years with no ill effect to life on Earth.

Axial precession at 14.5m per

Axial precession at 14.5m per year won't make one iota of difference. That's 145 metres over the past decade. You may have noticed that if you move yourself 145 metres further north it doesn't feel any hotter! If it were several hundred kilometres you might have a point, but that isn't the case.

Re Climate change reality

Although your response sounds really impressive, we ignore the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere at our own peril. Yes, this could partly explain the melting ice caps, but you cannot ignore CO2 levels. Most of us won't be here in 100 years so we could close our ears and eyes to climate change but is that a good idea. Sea level rise is already affecting some areas of the world. It could be partly a natural occurance but tell that to the people being affected. Although I don't an EV, I am conscious of the CO2 that I create from what I do.

Climate change and CO2

Hey, have you not heard? CO2 does not cause climate change. CO2 is our friend, the more the better. We can see. The Greening of the planet as a result of more CO2. That's a good thing.

Climate Change Poll

Hi Duncan. I am not sure of your stance on Climate Change But I don't believe in Climate Change at all. It used to be Global Warming. I like many other New Zealanders are really encouraged by the results of this poll as it shows that we have not all been brainwashed by the UN sanctioned "climate scientist" If the world has got warmer by 1 degree in over 200 years of industrialization, then I don't think we have too much to worry about. Better to worry more about the 70 coal fired power station in Vietnam and the ten new ones they are building. Indian and China have only promised the Paris accord that they will try to reduce their emissions after 2030! So we need to back off our farmers. Pullout of the Paris Accord Cancel the ETS And just get on with our lives.


Look I agree ,a very convenient time for leftist politics. Perfect opportunity to implement un global tax on western nations and an assault on sovereignty.If there is climate change of concern then address where that comes from.India ,China et al.Except these countries are not in the sphere of influence,so much easier to target insignificance. At any rate co2 was never an issue, certainly it should be well received by farmers. The issue is pollution particularly plastics and toxic metals.I will say over the next few decades it will become clear there never was an emergency rather just emotive speech for political agenda, focus on the real issues

Your twitter poll was a bad idea:

Philip: Twitter is an absolute warzone and literally the worst place to do a poll. The result you get will not be indicative measure of how educated the NZ public is on climate change. The record breaking numbers who took to the streets in school climate change for climate gets you a feel for what the public generally understands: More than you think. It also has occurred despite our government doing a terrible job of educating the public on whats ahead and why we need to act. It's also despite the horrendous misinformation campaigns still being run, largely on social media now the mainstream media has done a mea culpa. Twitter of all platforms is a massive reality distortion field. There's still a bot problem on twitter despite their cleanup work, as well as the troll armies. It's awash with propaganda and humans that might as well be bots. I'd suggest finding another medium to do the poll. It's also interesting to note that cities and regions were well ahead on climate action and declaring climate emergencies, showing national politics is way behind local politics, which has much less influence from powerful vested interests and much more direct accountability to people and the real consequences they face. It's sad but most progress on climate change will come from non-national level government action. From private sector, NGOs, and influential individuals. Ultimately NZ's agriculture and export dependent economy is directly in line for the consequences of climate change and farmers will be the first NZers to feel the heat. Our friends across the ditch are literally having their livelihoods go up in smoke. A deranged climate is not conducive to human agriculture and puts even the food we eat at massive risk. This is not being adequately communicated as clearly farmers somehow feel they are more threatened by action on climate change.

Appreciate all that, but it

Appreciate all that, but it still doesn't address the problems we've highlighted. Blaming Twitter (which now bans political advertising, unlike Facebook) ignores the real human beings that voted and the issues with the Government set up. For every protestor there seems to be someone quietly disagreeing. We either honestly face up to that, or we bury our heads. It's interesting you think polling different people and ignoring these ones would make this problem disappear. As you say the more info we have the better we can plan - sadly Niwa has stepped away from that role to be more commerical now and whether people want to hear it or not, there is clearly a large group of NZers who think this isn't an issue and personally I think that needs more attention as it's hard to move forward if everyone isn't on the same page.

Phil D

Agree - lets NOT engineer polls that give the "right" result!

NIWA do not have a good track record with the science behind climate change! Of course I would be happy for them to stop wasting tax payer funding by competing against MetService however I would find it difficult to trust any climate change message issued by NIWA and they definitely should NOT be charging for raw, unadulterated, climate data. ;)

Try being a bit more open-minded

The reason nearly half the people voted that climate change isn't very concerning to them is that they have heard and listened to some of the many scientists that do not agree with the IPCC's point of view. It's people like you that have blinkers on and will only regurgitate the hypotheses commanded by the politicians running the IPCC. Yes it is a political organisation, not a scientific one. There seems to be a let's call it an unusual cooperation between the IPCC and the mainstream media. Why we never hear from scientists, some with a PhD in climatology and totally disagreeing with the man-made global warming hypothesis is just very strange and needs looking into. Of all the forecasts made by those so-called experts, none have come true so far. Cheers Tony

Oh, my. The only reason to

Oh, my. The only reason to ignore the science on this is ideology. I wonder, do you also believe the earth is flat, or that NASA faked the moon landings?