Health Research Saves Lives!

Ka Whakarauoratia te Hunga e te Rangahau Hauora!

 Covid 19

Open letter to the New Zealand news media

If you were a passenger in a plane that was going through some very rough turbulence, or even free falling with the engines shut down, would you start shouting out to your fellow passengers telling them that you’re a journalist or a media commentator, and soliciting and offering suggestions about how you think the pilots should be flying the plane?

No. You’d  stay silent or be made to stay silent, you’d probably decide to put your trust in the people who are trained to deal with the situation, and hope or pray that you’d survive.

A number of radio, television and media reporters and commentators have expounding views critical of or questioning the government and other authorities for how they’ve been responding to the Covid 19 crisis here in New Zealand. If you’re one of them we ask you to pause and to think about the impact of what you’re saying.

Whether we like it or not for the very survival of tens of thousands of us we have to place our trust in the government, and most importantly the scientists and experts who are advising them. We should all exercise personal responsibility for being positive, for being leaders in our own circles of influence, and for not undermining trust in the scientists and government leaders who are doing their best to navigate us through this. We should all be doing our best to be part of the solution, rather than contributing to the problem

Unlike those in the freefalling plane we know that the engines will eventually restart and we’ll get through this. We should all be doing what we can to ensure that everybody gets behind the experts and that the engines fire up again as quickly as possible with minimal hospital admissions and loss of life.

Why have written this now? Because New Zealanders for Health Research has decided that we can be part of the solution to the current crisis by encouraging people to put their trust in science. If we don’t trust the science we won’t heed the warnings. Our health systems will become overwhelmed and tens of thousands of us will die, journalists, commentators and their family members included.


24th March 2020


Chris Higgins
Chief Executive | New Zealanders for Health Research

+64 27 292 8433 mobile | [email protected]