Take Action Now

Making a movie and organising a climate action have this in common: they’re jobs better shared. We (the Rebel Film Collective) chose to make High Tide Don’t Hide collaboratively, taking decisions on the story’s content and structure when we were all in agreement. It took longer, but in the end, we were better together. 

In mobilising thousands in 2019, student strikers showed (again) how coordinated people can catalyze change, and how the rawest – roarest – voices are often young people’s. We need the radical roarers. We need us all: for policy setting, business changes, regenerative practices, rewilding and radical care. Centred in climate justice. We need systemic change, to look after ourselves and each other, and we do it better playing together.

We hope that in watching High Tide Don’t Hide you are inspired as we are by how Fili, Luke, Helena, Lilian and Sophie navigate the challenges of getting people walking in the same direction – and noticing who is taking the lead (and why, and how). 

As Luke says, “Many more great things will come from this, [things] that we can’t even yet imagine.”

This is a developing resource for sharing projects. We welcome your tips. Email: therebelfilmcollective@gmail.com

Actions for Climate Justice

Join a group.

There are many groups – student, Māori, iwi and hapū, Pacific, community and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – that rely on people getting involved to push for policy and other changes. 

Youth led climate groups:

4TK (4 Tha Kulture), School Strike for Climate, Pacific Climate Warriors, Te Ara Whatu

For other organisations working on climate and environmental issues, see below.

Choose what action/s to take.

What do you want to change? Are there campaigns already underway  to support?  We are particularly keen on Greenpeace’s campaigns to address Aotearoa’s climate emissions from agriculture. Right now, Uri o Ngāti Pāoa are occupying the beach at Pūtiki Bay (Kennedy Point) on Waiheke Island to protect Pūtiki from the proposed ‘Kennedy Point Marina’. We also back lowering the voting age to sixteen. More are below. 

“Overall your actions should be building up pressure, whether that’s by becoming bigger, more disruptive, more visible, or ideally all three. It must become harder for those who hold power to NOT do what you want than it is for them to enact your demands. If politicians think that they’ll lose their jobs if they don’t do what your movement wants them to do, then they’ll do it. This is the difference between having a tactic (like striking) and having a movement (something that builds up pressure on a certain issue).” – Luke

To have a (formal) say in what the government or local council does, see resources from Parliament here, and from the Electoral Commission here. Sophie recommends visiting your MP’s office, to call for specific changes in person

Get organised.

“At the very beginning of organising your action, I would recommend doing some further research on the issue/ cause to better understand the context here in Aotearoa. Research which other people/ groups are working in the space now and those who have done so in the past, to have a base understanding of who is also fighting for change in relation to the cause you’re passionate about. This will strengthen the wider movement for change and also increase impact. Just connect with everyone you come into contact with and ask questions – be curious and get to know how others are connected into the kaupapa.”  -Sophie

 “Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t apologise for speaking out. Ask people to do stuff, delegate to other people you can rely on. Make lots of ‘to do’ lists and have timelines for when things need to be done. Go into it with the mindset that there are going to be barriers and just keep going anyway. Also go into it with the mindset that it is very likely the logistics will fail somehow and it won’t be what you expected. Don’t reinvent the wheel – most actions have been done before, so talk to the people who have experience, or do some research on the internet.”  – Helena

Look after each other.

 “Make sure the work of organising and coordinating doesn’t fall on a few people within the movement. For the process to be smooth and sustainable, having people in roles they enjoy and that align with their passion and skills is key.”  – Sophie

If you are feeling climate anxiety, you are not alone. This may help.

If you are feeling desperate, please get help: www.youthline.co.nz/helpline.html

“My friends support me by making sure that I have breaks from mahi. They hold me accountable to this and in my eyes, this is one of the most important roles that anyone plays in my life because it helps minimise the chance of me burning out. Rest is productive. Be conscious of how you’re spending your time to ensure you give yourself space to both process what you’ve done and still have to do, but also to rest. 

“For me, it can be useful to literally imagine a bucket. I think about my time and priorities in the form of rocks. You put your big rocks into the bucket first. Mine are climate justice, my wellbeing, singing/ music. Then, smaller rocks can represent the other things in your life and you fill up all of the little crevices with them. One of those big rocks should be YOU because, in order to be effective in your activism/ advocacy, you need to have the energy to give.”  – Sophie

“I can not stress the importance of mentors enough. Nothing we’re doing is new. We stand on the shoulders of giants who have sacrificed so much to even get us to where we are. So go out and talk to them, make sure you’re not only learning from your own mistakes but their mistakes as well…they also might have done a few things right that we can try to do again.” – Luke

“Don’t feel like time spent learning, thinking, reflecting, strategising, getting to know people, resting, and everything else that is part of this work is time wasted.” – Helena 

Organisations to support

There are many organisations, big and small, working on climate and environmental issues from different angles. This list is by no means extensive. We hope it helps you find like-minded people to connect with and join forces with in the good fight.

 4TK (4 Tha Kulture), School Strike for Climate, Pacific Climate Warriors ,Te Ara Whatu, Greenpeace Aotearoa, 350 Aotearoa, Indigenous Climate Action , Coal Action Network Aotearoa, Taranaki Climate Justice, WWF, Forest & Bird, Extinction Rebellion, Our Climate Declaration, Environmental Defence Society.

Are you a filmmaker keen to support climate actions with your shooting skills? Join The Rebel Film Collective.

Campaigns to support

Uri o Ngāti Pāoa are occupying the beach at Pūtiki Bay (Kennedy Point) on Waiheke Island to protect   Pūtiki from the proposed ‘Kennedy Point Marina’.

MakeIt16 aims to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 in New Zealand. 

Aotearoa’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas is our dairy industry. We back Greenpeace’s call to the New Zealand government to: 

Oxfam’s related petition is here:

Here is Forest and Bird’s petition to stop development of any new coal mines in Aotearoa.

Some more tips for taking action from our film heroes:


“[If Pākehā:] Educate yourselves about your privilege and racism and Te Tiriti, don’t wait for someone to call you out, and don’t expect POC to educate you. But also, don’t not do anything, because of Pākehā paralysis. Accept that you will make mistakes. Don’t freeze and make climate change the responsibility of POC to deal with, when it’s not, and they already have hundreds of years of colonisation to deal with.”

Helena made this resource website: www.checkyourpakehaprivilege.co.nz/


“A successful action must bring people together, especially those most affected by the issue. It doesn’t matter if it’s climate action, workers rights, tree protections, decolonization, rainbow rights, ending poverty, all of these movements are interconnected and if you can not see the links between them then you will leave people behind and fail to reach your goals. Whatever you’re doing you must accept that those of us with more privilege need to be giving space and resources to those with less in order for our movements to be truly successful. 

It’s important to know when you need to be speaking out and when you need to be shutting up and listening. If you’re a young person talking to the mayor of your town/city or to the CEO of Fonterra about their destruction of our planet then be loud. Know that there’s millions of youth alongside you shouting the same thing. If you’re a Pākehā talking to an indigenous person about the disproportionate effects of climate change on their culture, people, and land, then it’s time to listen.”

We welcome hearing from potential impact partners as we work together to address the climate crisis:  therebelfilmcollective@gmail.com