Gareth Morgan has gone to the High Court in a bid to get The Opportunities Party into TVNZ's debates.
The Auckland High Court confirmed an application for a judicial review had been lodged today and would be heard at 2.15pm tomorrow.
The party lodged the application on the back of TVNZ's decision to exclude it from Friday's minor parties debate and next week's TVNZ youth debate at Auckland University.
TVNZ said the party was not polling high enough to warrant a place in the minor parties debate.
1 News political editor Corin Dann said it was longstanding policy not to include parties that were outside Parliament in election debates unless they had reached three per cent in at least one of the most recent 1 News Colmar Brunton polls.
TOP had not reached that threshold.
A TOP spokesman said the vast majority of New Zealand media had dealt fairly with the party but they were disappointed the publicly-owned broadcaster was not willing to give the party a fair go.
"We believe it's an unlawful policy," he told the Herald. "We are going to rely on the good judgment of the court tomorrow but we also think it's crazy that public money is being spent on this.
"All we want is a fair suck of the sav ... TVNZ seem to be intent on cutting us out of it.
It is not the first time a minor party has taken such action - and precedent is on TOP's side.
In 2005 the High Court ordered TV3 to include United Future leader Peter Dunne and then Progressives leader Jim Anderton in its debate after it tried to exclude them.
Justice Ron Young said excluding them was detrimental to New Zealand's democracy.
TV3's then head of news Mark Jennings objected to what he described as judicial interference in editorial decisions, and said it set a dangerous precedent.
It is understood TOP has also taken umbrage at being excluded from candidates' panels on other TVNZ shows such as Backbenches and a youth debate due to be hosted by Jack Tame next week. Only Te Karere has invited the party on.