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The Standard

100% Clueless

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, May 13th, 2011 - 86 comments
Categories: Conservation, farming, john key, science, water - Tags: ,

John Key didn’t much like being called on the emptiness of our “100% Pure” advertising slogan. When confronted on BBC interview program HardTalk with the scientific evidence regarding species loss, and pollution in our rivers, he tried to dismiss it as just one person’s opinion. Key then went further, saying “He’s one academic and, like lawyers, I could provide you others who would give a counter view”.

It’s a typical clueless Key line, superficial and dismissive. So I’m very glad to see that he’s been called on it:

Key challenged to prove ‘green’ image

A leading environmental scientist has laid down a challenge to Prime Minister John Key: Find one credible expert who will back up New Zealand’s “100% Pure” image.

The challenge comes after Mr Key was grilled on BBC’s Hardtalk earlier this week over the country’s clean green image. The show’s reporter Stephen Sackur attacked New Zealand’s “clean, green” claim, citing a recent article critical of the country’s environment by scientist Dr Mike Joy, of Massey University.

The PM responded by saying Mr Joy’s article was only one view and he could easily provide a “counterview” in favour of New Zealand’s green image.

Now the author of the article is saying ‘prove it’.

“You can’t argue with the facts, the NIWA reports, the number of threatened species, all of those things are facts,” he says.

Facts? If they cared about facts they wouldn’t be Nats. So don’t expect a reply from Key. And don’t expect him to front up to any more hard interviews either. Reading his lines on Letterman is much more Key’s style.

86 comments on “100% Clueless”

  1. Key displays the RWNJ habit of viewing opinions as weapons to bludgeon the opposition with and not things to weigh up and inform.
     
    Who cares how coherent the opinion is?  As long as it backs up his prejudice he will use it.
     
     

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      More precise to say that RWNJs label facts as opinions so as to dismiss them especially when they call into question their own beliefs. Any opinions that support their beliefs will, of course, be labelled as fact even after they’ve been proven wrong by the facts.

  2. weka 2

    Yeah Key is clueless, but is the rest of NZ? Many communities in NZ have been happy to build their businesses around the clean, green tourism brand at the same time as letting their regional councils fail to enforce adequate environmental protection standards on (dairy and other) farming. Likewise, we’re quite happy to make money from the conservation estate via tourism but unwilling to fund DOC and other agencies to adequately protect the same estate. We can’t have our conservation estate and eat it too.

  3. I see Lynn your cunning plan is working.
     
    Go to google and type “clueless nz”.
     
    Then hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

    • lprent 3.1

      It was rocky’s idea.

      I must think about the code for tagging every reference of John Key in here. I don’t think that it’d be too hard to add such a filter into the site. And google loves this site based on how often it reads it.

      • Deadly_NZ 3.1.1

        Well you got to get the word out there somehow, but how many people really search for that phrase? There again just slipping it in to comments on MSM sites may help.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    It is difficult for a man to understand something when his salary and position are dependent on not understanding it.

    Peak Oil.

    Abrupt climate change.

    Acidification of the oceans.

    The Sixth Great Extinction Event.

    Collapse of fiat currencies.

    The phony war on terror.

    Facts do not matter for governments. Promoting ideology, moulding public perception and looting the till without getting caught are the prime concerns.

  5. Tombstone 5

    Saw the interview and once again I found myself asking one simple question ‘how can anyone consider this man to be worthy of our leading our country into the future?’ It’s just one smarmy response after another from Key and it’s worn incredibly thin now. As far as I’m concerned, and the BBC interview only but highlighted it even further, the man is seriously out of touch with the real world and needs to go. If I were to rate his performance so far as PM it would be a lousy 1 – he’s failed this country something chronic.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Yeah. Key should have painted NZ as the cesspool of the Pacific. That would have done wonders for our tourism, wouldn’t it?

    • r0b 6.1

      We can argue about what Key should have said later. This is about what he actually said.

      TS – do you approve of the PM lying? Do you approve of the PM dismissing the credibility of Dr Mike Joy?

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        He is the minister of tourism. His job is to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative etc. You can call that “lying” if you like. But if he’s not doing that, he’s not doing his job.

        • Armchair Critic 6.1.1.1

          He is the minister of tourism. His job is to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative etc. You can call that “lying” if you like. But if he’s not doing that, he’s not doing his job.
          Do you seriously mean “if he’s not lying, he’s not doing his job”? That must deserve to be bookmarked.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t call it lying. I said R0b could call it lying if he wanted to. I see it more as downplaying the negative information and highlighting the positive. Basically, its marketing.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Problem is that he isn’t eliminating the negatives. He is trying to ignore them – a substantial difference because it doesn’t change the actual water quality. But he is pretty clueless at actually doing much. But ignoring all that…

              So if we look at the job of PM, then I guess you’d describe his lying in that role as being marketing as well? I wonder how far you’d take this interesting principle – ministers of the crown in general? Police in court cases? 

              But my guess is that your definition would only apply to right wing PM’s. 

              • tsmithfield

                He claimed he could provide a counterview. He didn’t say how credible that counterview would be. There probably are scientists in NZ with counter-views to Joy. Look at the global warming debate for instance for evidence that scientists can have widely disparaging views, even though some may not be taken seriously. So, Key wasn’t lying.

                IMO we don’t need to be hanging out our dirty washing to the international tourism community any more than we have to. Key was doing the right thing for NZ IMO.

                • Colonial Viper

                  He claimed he could provide a counterview. He didn’t say how credible that counterview would be.

                  Yeah I agree with you, Key is willing to provide shitty irrelevant non-credible references as it suits him to.

                • He claimed he could provide a counterview. He didn’t say how credible that counterview would be.

                  tsmithfield, you’ve done what I thought impossible: convinced me that I’ve overestimated Key. I’m with you now – once his comments are properly interpreted, Key’s deceptiveness is even worse than it initially appears (quite some achievement).

                • Disco

                  true but you must always be credible or else you don’t get taken seriously I guess the point is Key is losing his credibility and that is not what we need from our leader in the international community

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2

          So it’s the minister of tourism’s job to lie. Right, got that.
           
          If you went to a country whose tourism minister promised you could jump in any river and swim in it, and then when you got there it turned out actually you wouldn’t want to jump into most of the rivers and swim in them, would you feel cheated?

        • r0b 6.1.1.3

          They were pretty simple questions TS, they have Yes or No answers.

          Do you approve of the PM lying?

          Do you approve of the PM dismissing the credibility of Dr Mike Joy?

        • fraser 6.1.1.4

          “He’s one academic and, like lawyers, I could provide you others who would give a counter view”

          do you think thats accentuating the positive? Because i certainly dont – i call it being dismisive

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.4.1

            “Do you approve of the PM lying?”

            Not lying. Spinning. You should know the difference. Lying would be to claim that “most scientists disagreed with Joy”. So long as he can find one dissenting academic in all the world, then he has told the truth.

            “Do you approve of the PM dismissing the credibility of Dr Mike Joy?”

            I don’t see where he has done that. He claimed that Joy is only one view. That is true. He said nothing about the quality of Joy’s view.

            Perhaps you should ask NZ tourist operators if they are pleased that Key engaged in a bit of positive spin for NZ tourism.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.4.1.1

              He said that academics are like lawyers, FFS. They just, aren’t.

              Well, outside of right wing thinktanks they aren’t.
              But *they* can’t really be called academics so the point stands;

              John key is a right royal fuckwit,
              still,
              and you’re defending him,
              still
              because birds of a feather.

              • tsmithfield

                “He said that academics are like lawyers, FFS. They just, aren’t.”

                He clearly meant that academics are like lawyers in the sense that it is possible to find other academics with dissenting opinions. Absolutely true. Look at the AGW debate for instance. Hell, dissenting views in science have often preceded step-changes in knowledge.

                “John key is a right royal fuckwit,”

                Resorted to name-calling now? Is that because you don’t have an argument? Not very pretty.

                • Gee I wish law was as clear cut as the AGW debate.  It would make the whole business so much simpler.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “He’s one academic and, like lawyers, I could provide you others who would give a counter view”

                  The reason you can get lawyers to represent different views, is because that’s what lawyers do. It is their profession. That is fundamentally different from what academics do. The clear implication that they are similar in that way, is a lie.

                  A claim that as a general proposition one can find academics to support or oppose any view, is again, nonsense. I’m sure can you think of examples that disprove that general claim. So if his statement relies on it being true in all cases, then again, it is a lie.

                  If he can find academic counter views for the specific case, he has the opportunity now to present them, and why wouldn’t he?

                  Resorted to name-calling now? Is that because you don’t have an argument?

                  Lord knows I’ve never claimed to be pretty, but you might find that:

                  “John key is a right royal fuckwit”

                  was the conclusion to an argument.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “A claim that as a general proposition one can find academics to support or oppose any view, is again, nonsense.”

                    It depends. I doubt that there would be any serious academic that would dispute the chemical composition of water for instance. However, when it comes to an opinion of complex issues such as all the components that interact to form our environment, then there are likely to be a wide range of positions. Take the AGW debate for instance.

                    Since this is the sort of issue that the PM was discussing, then I am sure he is correct. There probably are academics with opposing views to Joy. They may well be a minority. But they probably exist. However, Key made no claim in this respect.

                    • weka

                      “I doubt that there would be any serious academic that would dispute the chemical composition of water for instance. ”

                      Well apparently Key is saying that there is. It’s scientific fact that we have more polluted rivers than we used to. Key said that in tourism terms that’s debateble.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Key made no claim in what respect? It’s unclear as to what you mean there.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Take the AGW debate for instance.

                      Go for it. Find us one credible climatologist that disagrees with AGW.

                    • terryg

                      shonkey was being highly disingenuous with his use of the term “academic”.

                      Although Dr. Joy is, indeed, an Academic, he is in fact a Scientist.

                      Replace “academic” with “scientist” and the bullshit becomes obvious.

                      Unlike Law, Science is based on observation and analysis of facts, and is REPEATABLE

                      that is, anyone with suitable skill, time and resources should be able to independently duplicate scientific results.

                • bbfloyd

                  it’s a lawyers job to dissent, or counter opposing arguments.

                  that isn’t a job description for researchers and academics in the maim.

                • Disco

                  how many jokes are there about how many scientists at the bottom of the sea? No lawyers and scientists are different. Scientists find truth, lawyers make up the truth. A bad analogy Key bad.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.4.1.2

              Not lying. Spinning.

              There’s no difference.

              I don’t see where he has done that.

              That’s because you don’t want to see. Joy has based his view on those pesky things called facts and Jonkey dismissed it as opinion.

              • tsmithfield

                There’s no difference.

                So, all politicians are liars then? There is nothing that Key said that was untrue. Do you disagree that it would be possible to find one academic in all the world who would dissent with Joy on his view.

                “That’s because you don’t want to see. Joy has based his view on those pesky things called facts and Jonkey dismissed it as opinion.”

                According to point 3 (a) of the merriam webster online dictionary an opinion can be: “a formal expression of judgement or advice from an expert”. Do you disagree with that with respect to Joy?

                • weka

                  “Do you disagree that it would be possible to find one academic in all the world who would dissent with Joy on his view.”

                  Wasn’t that the point of r0Bb’s post? That the scientist who had been dismissed by Key challenged Key to come up with a single person who would support the 100% pure thing? Well, almost. The bit you seem to be spinnning is that it just has to be an accademic that disagrees with Joy. What Joy actually challenged was this:

                  “A leading environmental scientist has laid down a challenge to Prime Minister John Key: Find one credible expert who will back up New Zealand’s “100% Pure” image.”

                  Notice the use of the words ‘credible’ and ‘scientist’, and that Joy wants Key to find someone who backs the brand based on facts.

                  • tsmithfield

                    But the point being debated is the way Key answered the interviewer. Not Joy’s subsequent outburst. In his answers in that interview he made no claims about the veracity of any dissenting opinion.

                    • r0b

                      Say TS, do you practice yoga? It’s the only explanation I can think of.

                    • weka

                      “In his answers in that interview he made no claims about the veracity of any dissenting opinion.”

                      Just to be clear here TS. You think it’s ok for the PM to claim that somewhere in the world there will be a single academic who will publically agree with Key’s assertion that there is no depression in NZ even if the academic isn’t being truthful, and even if Key’s argument is countered by many actual experts in the field, who do tell the truth, who disagree that the NZ environment is 100% pure? And that that is a valid thing for Key to do?

                      That’s just weird.

                    • In his answers in that interview he made no claims about the veracity of any dissenting opinion

                      TS, do you understand how discourse works? The discursive ‘work’ Key was doing with the comment that Joy was just one academic and he can find an alternative viewpoint was to invite the inference that what Joy claimed was, at best, debatable, and, at worst, probably incorrect. Language utterances perform work that goes well beyond the schoolboy literalism and naive logical analysis you have suggested as a way to evaluate what Key said.

                      On a more substantive matter, Key’s need to defend (quite ineptly) the ‘100% pure’ marketing is indicative of what appears to be a general view in this government – that a tourism strategy amounts to a marketing strategy. This emphasis perhaps helps to shed light on the dissolution of the Ministry of Tourism – with it’s policy and planning focus – and the funding boost to Tourism New Zealand, which is the national tourism marketing body.

                      In a sense, then, you’re probably right, TS, that Key wouldn’t have been doing his job – as now structured – if he hadn’t defended the marketing brand by completely ignoring and denying reality. The role of Minister of Tourism is now one of being a marketing prop rather than one requiring a broad vision and strategy for the future of tourism in New Zealand. That is, the job description appears to have changed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, all politicians are liars then?

                  Nope, I’m sure there’s some politicians out there that don’t use spin.

                  There is nothing that Key said that was untrue.

                  Yes there was – Jonkeys assertion that Joy’s views were opinion. That was, and is, untrue. What Joy stated was basic fact.

                  Do you disagree that it would be possible to find one academic in all the world who would dissent with Joy on his view.

                  Nope, I’m certain that there are corrupt academics as well. After all, the statement that our rivers are polluted isn’t an opinion – it’s a fact that’s been determined by scientific research.

                  Do you disagree with that with respect to Joy?

                  What Joy stated was fact as determined by objective measuring, ergo, not opinion.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “Yes there was – Jonkeys assertion that Joy’s views were opinion. That was, and is, untrue. What Joy stated was basic fact.”

                    Na. He stated his opinion it was fact. If researchers could simply declare their research to be fact there would be no need for peer reviews etc would there? Even then, I doubt that facts can ever truly exist, other than concepts such as squares having four sides etc. That is because concepts are generally established as facts when enough qualified opinion is in agreement. Therefore, most facts are just an aggregate of opinion.

                    • weka

                      “Therefore, most facts are just an aggregate of opinion.”

                      You got that the wrong way round. Scientific ‘opinion’ is born of facts and research and peer review. At the end of the peer review process we end up with a theory that is largely accepted as being true i.e. the theory is not considered opinion.

                      If you measure the number of fish living in a specific river in the 1980s, that’s a fact. If you measure the number of fish living in the same river in the 2000s, that’s also a fact. You can then develop hypotheses about why the fish numbers have declined over 2 decades. At this point there will be multiple scientists and multiple research gathering information (you might do research in a lab or in the field on the effects of nutrient run off on trout breeding for instance, and someone else might survey the changes in land use around that river over that time, etc). Once you have gathered all that information together, you analyse it and see if it supports the hypothesis. That hypothesis development and testing is carried out over time, and if repeatedly supported by the evidence, it becomes accepted theory (eg trout populations decline in the presence of x nutrients at x levels in x kind of river ecosystems). Theory here means an accepted explanation of reality.

                      It’s not an infallible process, scientists do make mistakes, and sometimes scientists are coopted by commercial or other interests. But there are ways of looking at science and seeing how robust it is. Look at the scientist’s background, including any declared and undeclared bias or conflicts of interest. Look at who has been funding their research. Look at what is to be gained by supporting or refuting the hypothesis. If you have a science background you can look specifically at the individual research and whether it was done correctly.

                      So yes sometime scientists get it wrong. But that doesn’t mean that facts are simply an aggregation of opinions. The whole point of the scientific process is to weed out opinion and bias and develop fact and evidence based knowledge.

                      btw, here is what I think is Joy’s original article that the Hardtalk interviewer was referring to.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10721337

                      It *is* in part an opinion piece eg he says:

                      “Surely it is time to admit, even if just to ourselves, that far from being 100 per cent pure, natural, clean, or even green, the real truth is we are an environmental/biodiversity catastrophe.”

                      *but* throughout the article are facts about our environment and history that are not really in debate eg the numbers of species facing extinction is measurable fact.

                      If you really want to defend what Key did, try taking apart Joy’s article and see if his views are supported by evidence. I’m willing to bet they are.

                    • Lanthanide

                      One thing I’ve slowly learnt over time, ts, is that being a pedant to the hilt and not budging on anything, is that it doesn’t actually change anyone else’s opinion and instead they just think you’re a huge twatcock.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “You got that the wrong way round. Scientific ‘opinion’ is born of facts and research and peer review.”

                      I understand the scientific method.

                      However, I disagree. In your example of fish counting for example, this would usually involve some sort of statistical sampling. This likely could lead to differences of opinion as to whether the statistical method used was appropriate or not for example. In the end it is an aggregate of opinion that decides whether the research was properly conducted and whether the research can strengthen, weaken, or further extend some concept that the aggregate of opinion has accepted as “fact”.

                      I’m really raising a philosophical argument about knowledge here. When it boils down, the only things that can be accepted as “fact” are mathematical truths, conclusions from deductive arguments (assuming the premises have been accepted), definitional truths (all squares have four sides) and subjective existence (I think therefore I am).

                    • MrSmith

                      I think TS is trying to say, the PM lied in good faith.

                    • terryg

                      ts, clearly you DONT understand the scientific method.

                      And as for this:

                      I’m really raising a philosophical argument about knowledge here. When it boils down, the only things that can be accepted as “fact” are mathematical truths, conclusions from deductive arguments (assuming the premises have been accepted), definitional truths (all squares have four sides) and subjective existence (I think therefore I am).

                      1. we’re discussing ACTUAL THINGS and you’re obfuscating with philosophical tripe.

                      2. mathematical truths – Hilbert was doubtless pissed when Godels incomputability theorems rendered the purpose of his lifes work essentially pointless (still, I use Hilbert transforms, so thanks dead white guy)

                      3. “assuming the premises have been accepted” – if it involves assumptions, then it clearly isnt “truth” now, is it. more obfuscatory twaddle

                    • Colonial Viper

                      ts is arguing a post-modernist position – that there is nothing actually real except for how you define it and how you perceive it.

                      this goes against every day experience but he thinks every day experience is an illusion so why not make it up as you go along.

                      Apart from math and gravity of course lol

                • Disco

                  yep Key might be able to pay a down on his luck scientist to back him up or maybe the moon man

              • Chris

                “Not lying. Spinning.

                There’s no difference.”

                There is a huge difference and everyone knows it. To say differently is ridiculous. For example Labour and many many people on this site have said that the tax cuts that National put through were only for the rich. However the working poor did get some benefit from these.

                By your definition then Labour were lying because everyone who was working got some benefit. The fact that the benefit was far greater for the rich doesn’t make any difference to this. But noone has said anything like that because it’s not lying it’s spinning which is what politicans do.

                And finally to be honest trying to argue that spinning is the same as lying isn’t particularly helping your case and is taking the focus off the issue. Which is yes it’s true that John Key wasn’t technically lying, he was spinning the truth which is what he should be trying to do. Obviously noone left or right wants him to go on there and say NZ is a polluted shithole, but he was doing an absolutely terrible job of whatever it was he was trying to do.

                • weka

                  There is a difference between spinning and lying, but spinning doesn’t preclude lying (and vice versa) and in this case Key is doing both.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Philosopher Harry G Frankfurt has done some useful work in this area, (On Bullshit Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005.) , drawing a clear distinction between lies and bullshit.

                    Lies, Frankfurt proposes, are statements made to deliberately lead a listener into believing what the speaker believes to be an untruth. The liar thus cares about truth, and cares about what others believe to be the truth. The liar is bad, of course, but still respects and recognises the importance of truth

                    The bullshitter, on the other hand, simply seeks to have a listener go along with them without regard to what the truth is at all. The truth is not something that is of relevance at all to the bullshitter.

                    The bullshitter is worse than the liar, Frankfurt concludes.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  For example Labour and many many people on this site have said that the tax cuts that National put through were only for the rich. However the working poor did get some benefit from these.

                  They got tax cuts but are no better off primarily due to increased GST, ACC, rising prices and decreasing government services. The rich were better off because their tax cuts far exceeded the increases elsewhere.

                  This isn’t spin – it’s basic fact.

                  • Chris

                    I completely agree with you but you missed my point. I was trying to show (badly I confess) that given the same issue you can have completely opposing viewpoints on what happened and have neither be lying. For exmple given the tax cuts National can say the poor got tax cuts too therefore they benefited. Labour can say what you said in your post, basically that the poor got no benefits. Neither are lying but they are ‘spinning’. Both sides as you would expect them to do spin it to show how great they are/how terrible the other party is. Neither in this case would be lying.

                    I probably haven’t explained myself very well again, but just to make sure you know and don’t reply only to that point I’m not saying I agree with National’s assertion that last year’s budget benefitted the poor.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      National, not taking into account other changes that they put through, would be lying by omission. It’s going to be called spin but it’s still lying.

                      Labour, and the left in general, have included all the changes (Yes, Labour acknowledged that the poor also got tax cuts) and are stating basic facts. No spin and no lies.

                    • Chris

                      OK what you said was true and fair enough and my example was terrible, so I’ll only half continue with it, but because I’m a bit slow sometimes I will continue with it a bit. Mainly because I enjoy arguing and find the fact that someone can’t see any difference between spinning and lying unbelievable.

                      Spinning is accentuating the side you want people to see/believe.

                      For example with the tax cuts/gst increase, because they are predicting future outcomes obviously there is a scale of numbers the final effect will possibly be. National obviously went along the line of most optimistic and labour went along the line of most pessimistic. The truth was somewhere in between and both had data to back up their assertions and to be honest neither was completely unrealistic.

                      I do realise that you will come back with the ‘fact’ that Nationals original assertion was untrue and therefore they were misrepresenting the truth and therefore lying, so I will provide an example from some random paper I found from two minutes of searching on google. I’ll also point out that in this paper a distinction is made between spinning and telling the truth, but more towards the point of this discussion a distinction is made between spinning and lying:

                      What usually happens in an American courtroom provides a good way of illustrating the difference between lying and spinning. When a witness is called to the stand he is sworn to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” and then he is asked a series of questions, which he is expected to answer truthfully. The person in the docket could lie, but the key point is that he is required by law to tell what he believes to be the truth. The attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant, on the other hand, are primarily interested in winning the case for their clients, not determining the full truth about what happened in the dispute at hand. Accordingly, each makes an opening and closing statement in which he spins the facts of the case in ways that puts his client in the most favorable light. The rival lawyers invariably tell two different stories, but neither is allowed to lie. The American Bar Association, for example, stipulates in its rules of conduct that “a lawyer shall notknowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal. Spinning, however, is not only permissible; it is what lawyers routinely do for their clients

                      http://www.scribd.com/doc/52587401/Why-Leaders-Lie-the-Truth-About-Lying-in-International-Politics-John-J-Mearsheimer

    • Zorr 6.2

      If there is a problem with the way our country is and the disconnect between our advertising slogan and reality of environmentalism in NZ then Key should have been able to elucidate on the parts of us that are “100%” and what we are doing to bring the other parts up to snuff and how we are focusing on this.

      Key did none of these things. He sat there with a smarmy grin on his face right before plunging his head up his own arse screaming “LALALALALALALALA”

      • weka 6.2.1

        He did say which bits were 100% – the ones you can see with your own eyes. The ones you can see with a microscope or a long term study on population decline or a trip to the doctor from swimming in polluted waters weren’t included.

        And in that sense he is right. Most tourists don’t care about the environment anymore than Key does, otherwise they wouldn’t be flying here at the expense of the climate in the first place. Mostly they want a feel good experience which comes from pretty visuals and friendly locals. The fact that the river they are driving past in their campervan is polluted is irrelevant if it looks good.

    • Peter 6.3

      All he had to do was recognise the issue and talk up what we are doing about it. Instead, he went in to justification and blame. No class whatsoever.

  7. I just blogged about this here (shameless plug, but relevant. http://thekapailife.blogspot.com/2011/05/100-purer-than-others.html)

    Two massive concerns. one, that it took a journalist half a world away to ask the PM some hard questions about our environment. two, that the PM then wrote off the science that discredits our brand as ‘just one man’s opinion’. shocking.

    Where are our journalists on this stuff??? the environmental stuff is pretty easy (especially because Bl!P (sp?) listed a vast number of environmental shockers in the past two and a half years.

    put it this way. DOC (the outfit that protects the stuff that our brand, and therefore our multibillion export earner, tourism) is funded on less than the budget of a city council to protect a third of the country, the stuff that delivers our freshwater, protects us from floods, drives our brand and provides huts/tracks/bridges/visitors centres etc for all of our tourist (hint: one in ten jobs in NZ is associated with tourism). Not to mention pest control and protecting our native species. it’s worth BIG BUCKS MAN! stop whittling our most strategic asset down to nothing and hoping for the best.

    Journalists, start asking about it.

    public, start caring, before we lose what it means to be a NZer (http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/choice-bro/)… forever.

    • weka 7.1

      It’s a mistake IMO to argue for increased funding primarikly based on the conservation estate being a strategic economic asset. If that were the main reason for protecting the environment, then we’d be better off converting the national parks into sustainable forestry, especially given what’s going to happen to tourism the further we pass peak oil. Or selling the Manapouri tail race water to the Middle East (that’d ensure we didn’t put dairy farms on the edge of the lake).

      • ah true – that’s simply me trying to hone in on words that the national party might understand. Having spent two days at a Bluegreens conference and hearing over and over that the environment was a good thing, but only if it could deliver economic outcomes – i’m keen to show that can occur (see TEEB reports that came out of Nagoya).

        Personally, I’m all for the national identity stuff. It’s precious because it’s precious, it has an inherent value – we as New Zealanders all have a responsibility to protect it. It’s also who we are. despite 85% of us living in urban environments we all consider ourselves to having an inherent (“almost soulful”) connection to our bush, land and sea (see Clifton’s article above – very strong stuff from Practica on that).

        it’s just, over the last two and a half years – that’s been a hard position to take… with the exception of the excellent response on the proposal to mine national parks. “You say mine, we say ours!”.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          The problem is that if we argue the points on their terms we lose ground. Instead we can talk about economic benefits from the land as secondary to its intrinsic ‘value’ (and value isn’t even the right word). By secondary I don’t mean that less important, but that it’s a consequence of the primary value. You can’t protect the land if you see the primary value as economic, there will always be too many conflicts, and eventually we will have to choose between people’s jobs/the economy over the environment because that is how we have taught ourselves to be in relation to the land. It’s why we are in the mess we are in now – we’ve said that the economy is more important.

          I was very interested to read that Listener article and am pleased that the connection with the land is still so prominent.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          Having spent two days at a Bluegreens conference and hearing over and over that the environment was a good thing, but only if it could deliver economic outcomes…

          /facepalm

          75% of the economy comes from the environment. Fresh water, clean air, sustainable farming etc etc.

        • Deadly_NZ 7.1.1.3

          I see they are saying there’s over a trillion dollars worth of stuff under our parks and reserves. Now that’s a number ‘Trillion’ that will send the Nacts and their bankers into an orgy of speculation to destabilise our economy, sell all our assets, get re elected under an election fiddle, and say screw you to the constituents and just digs some farking big holes, and then strip mine the places they want to. And the little man will still be broke and unable to pay his bills as all that money went off shore, and the Nacts engineer the whole thing with Act and Crosby trextor.
          Now does that sound a little far fetched????

        • Deadly_NZ 7.1.1.4

          I see they are saying there’s over a trillion dollars worth of stuff under our parks and reserves. Now that’s a number ‘Trillion’ that will send the Nacts and their bankers into an orgy of speculation to destabilise our economy, sell all our assets, get re elected under an election fiddle, and say screw you to the constituents and just digs some farking big holes, and then strip mine the places they want to. And the little man will still be broke and unable to pay his bills as all that money went off shore, and the Nacts engineer the whole thing with Act and Crosby trextor.
          Now does that sound a little far fetched????

  8. simpleton 8

    No this is Key’s business experience shining through.

    His mates have run these kinds of campaigns (smoking, climate change/oil, etc) and know that facts don’t matter. Unfortunately his way of creating a perception of purity was A-grade shite. It’s more 100% than other countries.

  9. randal 9

    the only thing key has any idea bout is the rate on bonds and his client list.
    he has no class.
    only money.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Key is a light weight salesman.

    Used to selling bad products to unsuspecting compliant clients.

  11. IrishBill 11

    I don’t think it matters if it was spinning or lying. He did such a poor job of it it looked like lying.

  12. Rodel 12

    The real shames are :1] That we have no one of Stephen Sackur’s intellect or expertise in NZ

    2] That even if we did the Nats won’t expose themselves to people of such competence on media that might be seen in NZ…. (Hone and Don probably would but that’s another story).

    • Peter 12.1

      Exactly, they’d figure out how to shut them down by cutting off their funding

  13. Tanz 13

    He still looks like he loves the job.

    John Key, in power for ten years?

  14. Bob 14

    Jonkey would not recognize an enviromental impact even if it was a stoat feeding on his neck , he would just call it Don and hope it didnt get to the jugular

  15. Can TSmithfield please give us a laugh now and support Key’s statement that we’re 100% Pure “compared to other countries”. This should be good.

  16. GP 16

    Professor Jacqueline Rowarth at Massey University and dairynz water scientist Dr Mike Scarsbrook are two names that spring to mind about defending our 100 per cent brand.

    Earlier in the week I heard him say that our water quality was ranked second in the world (after Iceland) on the Yale University Environmental Report Index. On that same report were were ranked number one in 2008.

    Key was clueless during that interview and its facts like this that he should know and be able to use to back up our brand when being interviewed about it.

  17. GP 17

    Sorry, typo, I meant “we were” ranked number one in 2008.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      We might be ranked second according to the opinion of some outfit, but I’m still not letting my children swim in any of the filthy effluent polluted creeks and rivers in the Waikato, Canterbury or Southland, thank you.

    • weka 17.2

      Dr Mike Scarsbrook, who works for the dairy industry? We should listen to him? I’m not dissing him as a scientist so much as pointing out that the dairy industry can no longer be trusted when it comes to our environment. Ditto Federated Farmers. They’ve shot themselves in the foot on this, and until they start owning up to the problem I don’t think they have any credibility.

  18. Adele 18

    Teenaa koutou katoa

    From the perspective of tāngata whenua, the waterways are thoroughly polluted. Hard science would have an extremely hard time convincing us otherwise when we witness clearly the effects of effluent and pollution on awa and moana.

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