On Sunday 18 July 2021, Track Zero NZ brought together an amazing group via livestream from Te Papa  for a wide-ranging conversation on how art, music and stories can ignite climate innovation and change. The harmonious vibe between the participanting artists and scientists was magical. Sarah Meads hosted dancer/choreographer Tupua Tigafua, musician David Long, Niuean journalist/activist Inangaro Vakaafi and scientist Penehuro Lefale. Serving as the lead author for the Chapter on Small Islands for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2007, Penehuro earned a Nobel Peace Prize with his climate colleagues.

After listening to Penehuro's candid update on the climate science and his reflections on why there's such big gap between national policies and commitments to reduce emissions, a member of the audience asked the panel how she could hold on to hope. Tupua's response was beautiful and profound -- he finds hope in inner silence and in not knowing. His words resonated very strongly with me.

The video has been made available to cater for those who missed the lifestream or who would like to listen again. 

Track Zero and Te Papa Present:

‘Ciggy Butts in the Sand’ is  provocative yet uplifting dance theatre work  performed live at Te Papa on 13 and 14 July 2021. It's Tupua Tigafua's genuine  choreographic response to climate change seen through the eyes of a child. The creative partnership between Tupua  and musician David Long takes the audience on a journey of childhood wonder, through to some hard-hitting truths. This work deals with the challenges of global warming, human consumption, and the detrimental effects these actions have in Aotearoa New Zealand and the wider Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Pacific region.

This project wove together the wealth of knowledge and creative excellence that both Tupua Tigafua and David Long hold and have contributed to the arts industry in Aotearoa for many years.

After years of dancing for Aotearoa’s top dance companies, Tupua Tigafua has embarked on a journey of creating innovative dance theatre works that appeal to people of all ages. David Long has had an illustrious career composing music for some of the world's most iconic artists such as our very own Sir Peter Jackson.  

Tupua and David met through Track Zero's project, What if Climate Change was Purple?’and they worked with scientist Natalia Bullon (also part of ‘What if Climate Change was Purple?’) in the early research phase of this work.

The development of Ciggy Butts in the Sand was supported with seed funding from ‘What if Climate Change was Purple?’

The Panel discussion brings the award winning creative team behind ‘Ciggy Butts in the Sand’ and experts in science and Pacific climate change to discuss the conceptual development of the show and explore how storytelling and cultural knowledge are inextricably linked to the world in which we live ,and how their role is vital to shaping a better climate future.


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