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We don’t think there is balance in the media coverage of National and the Greens

In brief

  • A quick look at the headlines shows National’s tax policy is criticised far more than the tax policy of the Greens. 
  • This is even though the Greens promote a controversial and high wealth tax. 
  • Similarly, National’s environmental policies seem to be portrayed negatively, even though they are quite committed to reducing greenhouse gases.  
  • There seems to be a total lack of media pushback on the Greens’ environmental policies. Is this just attacking the supposed right and giving a bye to the left?

The media’s selective focus

The media’s selective framing of headlines regarding tax and environmental policies of the National Party vs the Green Party appear to favour the Green party. This is in line with the acknowledged left-leaning of most NZ media

For instance, a Google search will quickly return headlines such as the NZ Herald: Election 2023: National’s concerning lack of climate policies; Newshub: Environmental group calls Government our most radical ‘anti-environment’ since 1980s; and Newsroom: New Government crashes environment; etc.

National’s tax cut policy has received both praise and criticism (and rightly so).

What comes from an online search of Chlöe Swarbrick and the Green Party’s environmental and tax policy? 

Here’s a sampling of the media’s “scrutiny” of Green leader Chlöe Swarbrick’s take on taxes and the economy:  

Waatea News: Economic focus strong for Swarbrick; Interest: Chlöe Swarbrick pitches herself as ‘researched radical’; National Business Review: Chlöe Swarbrick adamant tax reform is needed; and NZ Herald: Greens promise wealth tax as research reveals rich stash $470b in trusts; etc. 

Then there’s the outright enthusiastic: 

Common Dreams: Watch New Zealand MP’s ‘Absolutely Brilliant’ 80-Second Takedown of GDP

Where the media will challenge National on taxes, or anything else, the Greens don’t seem to get the same scrutiny on their policies 

Also apparent is the absolute lack of push back by the media discussing the Greens’ environmental policy. 

As far as we could tell, climate change rhetoric goes unchallenged in the mainstream media regarding much of, if not everything, Swarbrick says. 

We do see that mainstream NZ media is all-in on the environmental “emergency”. There are, nonetheless, arguments against the Greens’ stance on carbon emissions, climate change, and extreme weather that are being discussed elsewhere in the world. 

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