Vigil Day 20, Hunger Strike Day 13.

(With link to The Spinoff article)

Today (Saturday) was a quiet weekend day on Parliament’s lawn, in glorious weather (we’re having a period of sunny, very calm weather). 


Over the last week the media attention has been heating up. Today an article was published in The Spinoff, and we’ve also been published in Stuff and Scoop. I’ve had 2 radio interviews this week, Plains FM and Waatea Urban Maori Radio in Auckland. (You can follow those links to read the articles and hear those interviews.) I’m being interviewed tomorrow by Bryan Bruce for NZ Public TV (online tv).

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick came and spoke with me for 10 minutes on Thursday morning and as a result she promoted Fridays For Future and joined us on Friday for an entire hour. There were 70 people there and we sat in a big circle for an impromptu hui together. 

Then early evening Friday, Professor James Renwick came to Viard House to meet with us (a group of about 10 core supporters). For about 1.5 hours we were filmed in a discussion on climate science with James. We’re hoping to share that video soon.

David and James.
Molly Melhuish speaks to James (Robin Treadwell in background)

This evening I attended Alternative Aotearoa, a one day hui on the environmental, social and economic transformation of Aotearoa. The hui was convened by Climate Justice Aotearoa with John Minto and Bronwen Summers. A number of people had suggested I attend and speak but I’d said no as I felt I needed to conserve energy. However today I was feeling much better, so attended briefly and was generously given 5 minutes in which I gave a quite impassioned speech.

David speaking at Alternative Aotearoa with Tim in support.


The accommodation being provided to us by the Catholic Church at Viard is wonderful. Lovely rooms with ensuites, and immediately across the road from Parliament. A big thank you to Father David Dowling and Cardinal John Dew for their hospitality.

A number of minor effects have arisen while hunger striking, for example not getting enough sleep (an observed hunger striking effect). 

In the last couple of days I’ve notice changes as my body transitions to ketosis (my body drawing energy from fat reserves). I’m feeling more normal as result. Transitioning to this stage happens between 10 and 14 days, so it’s happened right on schedule. 

I’m monitoring my blood pressure, temperature, weight twice daily and my heart beat constantly (with a fitbit). Everything is normal. My weight has dropped from 80kg to 73kg. 

I’m not doing a pure (water only) hunger strike, as I’m taking electrolytes, vitamin and mineral supplements. This is preventing some of the normal hunger strike effects and makes it safer.

My initial minimum goal was 2 weeks and maximum goal 4 weeks. However, from the beginning I’ve said I’ll stop immediately if there were a symptom of clear medical concern.

I’m very close to my 1st goal of 2 weeks, tomorrow (Sunday) will be my 14th day. I’ve now decided I’ll stop after a maximum of 3 weeks, which means I’ll break my fast on Monday 3rd August. I’ll then take some time here to recover before traveling home on Friday 7th August, with Tim Musson who has been by my side the entire time through this journey. 

My gratitude for Tim’s solid, steady support is inexpressible. He was working with me in the preparation and planning in Christchurch and by the time we travel home, he’ll have given 5 weeks away to support me. Having a steady support relationship, including the trip home, gives me invaluable trust, comfort and ease. 


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