Politicheck, a local version of fact check websites such as the US sites Factcheck and Politifact, and the Australian website Politifact Australia was launched this week. The front page says the following:
Politicheck.org.nz’s goal is to analyse all statements made during the election by all parties and say whether or not based on evidence available they are telling the truth. The website looks to operate on a similar level to the US political fact checking website - Politifact.com - although we have no affiliation with that website.
It is in the interest of all New Zealanders that we hold our politicians accountable for what they say or print, as they are the voice of this nation chosen to represent us. All fact checking will be shown through a transparent process, open to the public, ready for scrutiny. There is currently no unbiased source of fact checking of New Zealand politics for the public with this sort of transparency. No newspaper, website or news network is entirely impartial. Also there is no one reference point to see how truthful politicians have been during the election.
This is a totally not-for-profit venture aimed at making sure that all politicians and their policies are kept in check as current New Zealand media reports political statements with little to no objective analysis of what they have said, or are not as accessible as the main news networks. Hopefully through providing information rather than emotion and soundbites – we can change the conversation around politics from a popularity contest to actual policy, facts and data applicable to all New Zealanders.
If you would like to help out – please check the volunteer section for more details.
The release of the website is to try and stimulate interest and to seek out volunteers. It looks like they intend to get to work once a team has been assembled.
The person behind the website is Rory McCarthy who has set out information about himself including the fact that he is a Green Party member. There is a need for this type of website and it will be interesting to see how this particular effort develops.