web analytics

Why the polls suck.

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 pm, September 20th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: polls - Tags: ,

Newswire poll - participation ratesNewswire have a new poll “Is it a done deal? What the polls don’t tell us” which makes for some interesting reading.

It was a limited poll done around Wellington on Monday using a true random polling technique. It also reported all of the figures including the numbers for which there was no answer.

As you can see from the pie chart left, the actual number of people who gave a party preference was about a quarter of those sampled.

The highest proportion were those who didn’t answer the phone. Because the poll was on a single night, they were not able to retry the phone numbers. The word from people I’ve talked to says that polling companies often have to call up to seven times in the one or two week period to be able to contact someone. Even then there is high proportion from whom they do not get an answer.

But even this is not the full story. The methodology of this and every other phone poll has problems apart from the short survey period. It relies on land lines..
 

Selecting random numbers from the Wellington phone book and speaking to whoever answered the phone, 24 NewsWire reporters called 1147 residential numbers between 7pm and about 8.30pm on September 15.

It took that many calls to get answers from 770 people, with 200 of those who picked up the phone declining to participate.

I just checked on the availability of landlines with the Wellington Central electorate. Of the 44.5 thousand odd voters enrolled a few months ago, only 57% are contactable by land-line using the white pages. Between cell phones, unlisted phone numbers, and people who just don’t have a phone the samples look highly selective and almost certainly self-selecting. Wellington Central is close to the average of the electorates for phones. In Auckland the percentage of voters contactable by land-line can range from about 35% in South Auckland electorates to 70% in the North Shore electorates.

In my opinion, most of the published polls are about as useful as online polls. Read 08Wire’s take on those in “Memo to Whale: Online Polls Stink” . I particularly liked the story of how Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf won an online poll for most beautiful person of the year.

The published telephone polls are self-selecting samples of who has a phone, who is willing to answer, and who has a decided opinion. At best they are indications of trends in a poll series from a single company. Different methodologies between companies make cross analysis of polls almost useless.

At worst, well just read the pontificating about polls and across poll series by the local news media. You get the distinct impression that they consider that the polls absolutely say what the electorate will do, and they treat the published error rates as gospel. It would be interesting to see what their reaction would be if they were exposed to some of the requirements of a valid statistical study, and then shown how far their phone polls deviate from it. In the end there is only one poll that counts, and it happens on November 8th.

Chris Trotter also comments on this poll in Counting the horse’s teeth. It appears that newswire is produced by Whitireia Journalism School. Perhaps a new generation of journalists who are better informed?

Update: Matthew Hooten misses the point of this post (as usual with his comments about this site).

hat-tip: bill browne

33 comments on “Why the polls suck.”

  1. randal 1

    of course the polls suck lprent but dont worry about it. if it were a done deal then the natty dreads would not be so evil and vicious. they can smell defeat and it is driving them crazy.

  2. jaymam 2

    A truly random dialling of landlines depends on having the valid range of phone numbers for each exchange updated constantly, and updating the program that does the selection. I doubt very much that the polling companies have updated the ranges for many years.

    That means that new exchanges and outlying areas of cities are not dialled at all. Quite probably the owners of those landlines are not rich pricks and would therefore be lefties.

  3. Byron 3

    Might want to fix up this typo

    “done around Wellington on Monday around Wellington”

    Also, “As you can see form the pie chart left, the actual number of people who gave a party preference were less than a quarter of those samples.”

    28% > 25% (1 quarter)
    So its slightly over a quarter

    Sorry to nitpick

    [lprent: thanks. I wrote this just after getting up from a afternoon snooze. There was insufficient coffee in the system. ]

  4. Gooner 4

    I agree Lprent.

    I mean, from what I am being told on the hustings ACT is going to poll 20%+. The polls that have them @ 2% are just plain wrong.

  5. lprent 5

    I suppose that if you canvass inside of Act meetings you could get that high?

    But the posts focus was more on who doesn’t get polled or don’t give an opinion. I didn’t even mention the percentages for each party.

  6. Felix 6

    Staying awake too long allows really insane thoughts to pass as if they were quite reasonable thoughts.

    I think the Actoids need to lay off the party pills for a bit and have a wee nap.

  7. Razorlight 7

    Why can it not be reasonably assumed that those who don’t get polled or don’t yet have an opinion will not vote along the same lines as those who have been polled and do have an opinion.

    I know there is that argument tha poor people do not have land lines etc but other than that I do not see why Poll results are dismissed by those who trail.

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    I smoked P and I’m alright
    Got on the P stayed up all night
    I’m gonna vote Act cos’ they’re right
    Nanananananana nanananana

  9. theodore steel 9

    Perhaps it would be useful to actually get a statistic to show how those without landlines do actoually vote.

    I respect the assumption they would vote left-wing, as they are poor and it is widely assumed the left do more for the poor. But it is just as naive as taking the polls as read to even assume those without landlines vote at all. I mean, they are obviously removed from society so much as to not have a phone, surely they would then have a very high rate of non-particiaption in voting.

    Also it may be those who don’t answer are the “busy, upper class, 80hr week rich pricks without time to do polls”.

    Sure polls are faulty, but it can’t be purely assumed they are biased one way or another. Because everyone knows assumptions are baseless.

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    Those are interesting results, lprent, and you do us a good service by writing about it.

    It would seem that the conclusion you are drawing is that poll results are unreliable. Given that phone line access hasn’t changed dramatically in the last three years, it’s safe to say that the same statistics would have applied to the integrity of the polling information available at the last election.

    Yet as Hooton has pointed out, the poll results from 14 public polls published in the last three weeks of the campaign in 2005 closely mirror the actual election results.

    Average them out and you get:
    National 40.70%
    Labour 40.59%
    Greens 5.54%
    NZ First 5.29%

    The election results were:
    Labour 41.10%
    National 39.10%
    NZ First 5.72%
    Greens 5.30%

    We know that during the last ten days or so in the election campaign in 2005, Labour picked up support at National’s expense. This might explain the very slight difference between the average poll result, and the election result. Or it might suggest small sampling errors or methodology errors in the polls in 2005.

    We know that individual polls frequently have methodology differences and sampling errors (including, very possibly, the one you’ve quoted). But taken as a whole, they do seem to represent a very close image of public opinion.

    There are real problems with taking an individual poll result and claiming it as the definitive snapshot of where people are at. There are margins of error. There are also rogue results. But they don’t seem to be nearly as common as some people would like to believe. Averaged out, the poll results taken as a whole have proven time and time again to be an exceptionally accurate picture of public opinion.

    The Labour Party has spent enormous amounts of money on UMR over the years, and UMR provides probably the best polling service of any pollster. Their polling methodologies are not dramatically different to any other polling company: they simply poll more people more often. Helen Clark probably gets poll results on her desk every few days, if not daily. There is probably no politician better skilled at analysing and interpreting poll results than Helen Clark. She wouldn’t do this, and the Labour Party wouldn’t be paying for it, if it was a waste of money.

    It seems to be quite convenient to deny the validity of polls when the party you favour is consistently getting poor results, poll after poll. Yet that seems about as logical to me as living in a state of denied reality.

  11. lunaspark 11

    As a first-time poster, medium-term reader, I have to say firstly I appreciate the effort the posters behind The Standard (I know it’s just a program on a computer somewhere) are making. But I really do have to take issue with some of the odd conclusions made by the very same posters.

    Firstly, it’s disingenuous to reject a professionally executed poll for being inaccurate, only to present your own non-scientific telephone poll of less people than any genuine poll would canvass. A few years ago I did a stint at a polling company, and the rejection rate was far beyond what your poll is reporting. Your poll is reporting a 25% answer rate – whilst our targets were a mere three answers per hour. Imagine how many calls you can make in an hour, then realise only three would actually agree to talk to you, if you were reaching target. Which was rare.

    And this was ‘professional’ polling, which took into account age, income, location, etc.

    So I find it highly unlikely that a full quarter of people would give you a preference off the bat over the phone.

    I do agree that polls do veer slightly more to the right than reality, but giving off a false image of complacency is dangerous, is it not?

  12. monkey boy 12

    I think that the polls are horse-pooky what will damage Labour on election day is the previously party-faithful who will stay at home, rather than vote. it might be worthwhile to establish how many people actually decide to vote, regardless of whether they are decided or not about which party. ‘undecided and ‘declined’ is a bad result for Labour if this poll were to represent a typical Labour electorate.

  13. jcuknz 13

    Once upon a time, way back before ACT was ever thought of and we probably had Labour’s Rogernomics running things my wife was polled on her buying pattern. In addition there were politcal questions and she let me answer them. I was mildly keen on Winston Peters and voted for him in the polls and he rode high. My wife and I separated and I no longer helped her with the polls. Winston has been falling in grace ever since then 🙂

    So much for polls 🙂

  14. lprent 14

    Razorlight:

    Why can it not be reasonably assumed that those who don’t get polled or don’t yet have an opinion will not vote along the same lines as those who have been polled and do have an opinion.

    That would be the case if the spread of the lack of landline access was even. It isn’t.

    I get to play with the data from the electorate I been helping for the most of last couple of decades. Obviously one of the things I’m interested in is the correlations. When you look at the data there are two things that pop out when you look at landlines.

    Firstly that there is a strong correlation between age and land lines. Essentially if you are under 40 your probability of having listed access to a land line drops dramatically. If you are in your late 20’s it is about half of the average for the electorate. Conversely if you are over 65 and under about 80, then the frequency of having a land line is likely to be over 80%.

    Secondly as you noted there is a correlation with income. That shows up at both ends of the spectrum. If you correlate against the census mesh block data, areas with low household income are less likely to have land lines. It is less dramatic than the age data inside the electorate. In the small areas with very high income, listed phone lines also drop. These are probably unlisted numbers (like mine).

    However when you look at the south auckland/north shore percentages with phone lines, then the differences on income become obvious. The households in South Auckland electorates are half as likely to have land lines as those in the North Shore electorates.

    I’ve only done skims on other city data, but the same kinds of patterns show everywhere. Land line access have strong correlations to age and income as the defining characteristics.

    Please no-one argue that the income levels between the two areas are similar.

  15. lprent 15

    Tim: Since I’ve been involved with phone canvassing (about 15 years) in my home electorate the percentage of listed phone lines has dropped roughly from low 80% to 55% now. In the 2005 election it was about 64%. The rate of change is accelerating fast. In my opinion largely due to the cost of cellphones relative to landlines and relative ages.

    Currently polls are useful for trends, which is why Helen probably looks at the UNR data. If I was looking at the polling data in the way that you say Helen is, I’d be looking at the effects of specific proposed or announced policies in specific sub-samples. If it indicates a positive (or negative) change in voting behaviour, then that is useful information.

    You can see me pointing out in comments the delta change of series of successive polls. A series like -3%, +5%, +1%, 0% in successive polls from the same company targeted in the same way is useful (if they haven’t changed their methodology). It shows the trend espcially when read in conjunction with dates, events, and policy releases. However the absolute percentages are rubbish for actually figuring out an outcome is useless. That is what most of the media do – ie saying how many seats each party would get.

    Averaging the various polls tends to give better results. However if the base data that each poll is based on has an inherent error (land line access) then they’d all be biased. Personally I don’t think that the increasing accuracy of the polls in 2005 was as much due to policy as to the undecided becoming decided. But that is just opinion.

    Essentially what I’m arguing is that the interesting part of the election this time around is going to be in the high proportions that don’t get polled or don’t answer. As you pointed out, a 2% change between the average of the sampling polls and the real poll was sufficient to change the outcome of the election.

    People who do canvassing know this because what we see when we’re phone canvassing and especially door knocking varies a *lot* from published polls all of the time. As the elections go by I keep seeing bigger and bigger variances between the polls and the canvassing. I’m just expecting it to get bigger and bigger variances as people drop off listed land-lines.

  16. randal 16

    the polls are just another right wing media splurge. Once upon a time they meant something but these days its just more political hanky panky and meaningless post modern blather about sweet f. a. they have come to represent wishfull thnking rather than a truly indicative sample and this will be seen on the day. National have been going going on and on and ON about the polls since christmas trying to force an early election but they are not making so much noise now.

  17. Bill 17

    And then the unfortunate effect of consistently weighted polls being fed to the electorate ‘night after night’: they have a tendency to become self fulfilling prophesies.

    I have no doubt that the media, to an extent,takes it’s cues from polls and ‘falls in line’ with the general sentiment they (the polls) seem to express, thereby reinforcing the impression that ‘everybody’ is thinking x, y or z.

    Broadcast x, y or z into people’s living rooms on a regular basis and pretty soon ‘everyone’ will gear their opinions to correlate in one way or another with x, y or z.

    This goes beyond mere party votes, but to underlying perceptions of such things as crime or unemployment; their relative importance in the scheme of things and the parameters for discussing or dealing with such phenomena. To the extent that these are embodied within a party vote, the limited discourse is further coloured by the media taking cues from the polls and being more sympathetic to a particular line or party in the interest of reflecting public opinion.

    And sadly, the parties themselves shape policy in reaction to polls in an effort to reflect general sentiment and so we have a lot of things being out of touch with what people actually think, or people eventually adopting the discourse presented to them against their natural instincts.

    Or something like that…

  18. lprent 18

    Hi luna:

    Firstly, it’s disingenuous to reject a professionally executed poll for being inaccurate, only to present your own non-scientific telephone poll of less people than any genuine poll would canvass.

    I deliberately didn’t show the party detail of the poll for that reason.

    What I’m arguing is that the activists and members of the left should largely ignore the absolute values in the polls and just get on with the campaigning for this election. The polls have some fundamental flaws and are skewing further away from reality as the number of landlines reduces. The MSM’s interpretation of polls just shows their inability to understand the limits to sampling.

    What I was interested in this poll was that they published numbers of numbers that they were unable to contact, the numbers who refused to answer, and the undecided. If you have a look at the graph at the top, those are the only numbers I showed.

    The technique that the polling companies use is meant to be pretty much the same as the newswite poll, but using random phone numbers covering the whole country. They apparently will then call those selected numbers multiple times to get a response. Typically they will not just be asking questions about party preferences, they will also ask about a number of other matters.

    Essentially the only real difference with the poll that the journalism school did was to ring a local area, and only try numbers once. They were also by the look of it only asking one question.

    Pollsters ringing me always seem to start with a statement something like “this will only take 10 minutes” at which point I’d usually decline to answer. When we run canvassing phone runs the answering profile is much more like the one listed above because we’re usually only asking that one main question. You get *much* smaller rejection rates.

    What I’m arguing is that the published polls usually only report from one of the figures above. There is only one poll (TNS?) that reports the undecided. None of them give numbers for declined or unable to contact. Those factors are actually critical in knowing what the validity of the poll is.

    I’m also arguing that the whole concept of phone polling for predicting election outcomes is almost redundant because of the ever decreasing numbers of listed phone numbers.

    I’m sure that the pollsters are as professional as ever, but they should be looking for a different technique. Phone polling isn’t going to be viable in a few years. It is not particularly viable now.

  19. Anita 19

    Razorlight,

    Why can it not be reasonably assumed that those who don’t get polled or don’t yet have an opinion will not vote along the same lines as those who have been polled and do have an opinion.

    We can divide voters into four groups

    1) Core voters voted Labour/Nat/whoever last election, will vote the same way this election, know who they’ll vote for in 2011

    2) Swung voters voted one way last election, have made a decision to vote a different way this election.

    3) Cusp voters – Know they will vote Labour-or-Green or National-or-Act or NZFirst-or-Kiwi or whatever their personal pairing is. Will decide closer to the day which way to jump.

    4) Vague voters genuinely don’t have a clue, will make up their minds at the last minute or not vote at all.

    The core group is the solid part of polling. Core voters who bother to answer the poll will answer the voting preference questions. Swung voters are similar, although some will feel some discomfort (particularly if asked previous voting patterns), but generally they’re giving voting preferences right now.

    The final two groups however are responding to voting prefs questions in much lower rates.

    So the question is, will cusp and vague voters vote in the same ways as core and swung? I would argue that they won’t.

    Cusp voters are generally looking at smallparty-bigparty cusps and smallparty-smallparty cusps to a lesser extent. So we should expect them to have higher rates of small party voting rates than the current polling.

    Vague voters; I really don’t know. My hunch is that the genuinely vague are the most disconnected from national politics and the media. My hunch is that they’re poorer as more disenfranchised. They’re the people Labour will try to get to the polling booth because, if they get there, they’re more likely to vote Labour.

  20. randal 20

    Lprent…you are right on the button. this election the right have relied on anything except genuine policy. they have used a whole battery of so called experts, pollsters and ducked and dived rather than face up to any issues. All the Labour Party has to do is get the troops out and keep talking to the PEOPLE about what a national victory would mean for their hopes and aspirations. National has become a party of chisellers. They are supposed to be the party of business but they cant generate any new business. all they can do is take more than their fair share of the incomes generated by productive New Zealanders. they want the lot. they want villas in the south of france and his and her bentleys and townhouses in London. As soon as they get rich they want to cut and run. Basically they are parasites and if they get their way then Kiwi workers will be screwd down to subsistence level while they enjoy the HIGH life.

  21. Pat 21

    Randall – when the troops are talking to the people, do they tell them who will become PM when Helen retires?

  22. randal 22

    pat only john keys cares about that because it will never be him!

  23. Pat 23

    Randall – for sure, Labour are going to romp in. But does that mean the PM will be Cullen, or Goff, or Mallard? Surely Labour voters should know which PM they are voting for.

  24. randal 24

    pat people vote for policies. if you are so shallow to think that politics is a personality contest then you should be spending your time following beauty contests or watching reality teeveee. get a life. Labour has the policies and thats what counts.

  25. randal 25

    pat …national have tried to presidentialise the elections in recent times and they have failed miserably and they will fail again. the basic premise of our political system is representation by member of parliament and national should rmemeber that. however thye take their lead form the rightwing nutbars in the Us that dont bleieve in government anyway so they will reap what they have sown. nothing.

  26. Pat 26

    Who do you think will get the PM job when Helen retires, and why?

    My money is on Cullen. I don’t think he is ready to retire yet (he can point to McCain’s age as a precedent) plus I reckon he could pull together the numbers to fend off Goff.

  27. Matthew Pilott 27

    Pat – off by a mile. I could drop the most obvious name, but I’m enjoying your guesses. And the assumption that Clark would step down if Labour win.

  28. Tim Ellis 28

    LP, that was a very thoughtful response.

    Currently polls are useful for trends, which is why Helen probably looks at the UNR data. If I was looking at the polling data in the way that you say Helen is, I’d be looking at the effects of specific proposed or announced policies in specific sub-samples. If it indicates a positive (or negative) change in voting behaviour, then that is useful information.

    I disagree, LP. That’s what you use focus groups for, which UMR certainly does do for the Labour Party. A poll might include fifteen questions; a few more for a purely political poll (as used by political parties) and to drill down on attack lines, a few less for a major polling company such as Colmar-Brunton or Digipoll, were political questions are included in wider consumer surveying to make up their political poll. Most of the published polling we see is part of a wider consumer survey.

    You can see me pointing out in comments the delta change of series of successive polls. A series like -3%, +5%, +1%, 0% in successive polls from the same company targeted in the same way is useful (if they haven’t changed their methodology). It shows the trend espcially when read in conjunction with dates, events, and policy releases.

    I disagree LP. A series like 53%, 47%, 53%, 47% in successive polls from the same company with a sample of 500 may not show any bumps at all in support: it probably shows quite a steady level of support. Each of the differences is likely to be within the margin of error. If you are relying on one poll to base a trend, then you are dealing with what is probably a relatively high margin of error in each of them. Polling companies do not call the same people: if you generated a sample of people, and tracked that same sample over the period, then you could probably say that individual policies have had an influence on the difference.

    A consolidated combination of a range of poll data (i.e., polls of polls), with a much larger combined sample, will mute any sampling or methodology errors.

    However the absolute percentages are rubbish for actually figuring out an outcome is useless. That is what most of the media do – ie saying how many seats each party would get.

    I disagree here as well. The 2005 election result was remarkably close to a poll of polls of the last 3 weeks of the election campaign.

    Averaging the various polls tends to give better results. However if the base data that each poll is based on has an inherent error (land line access) then they’d all be biased.

    You have said that land line access is an inherent error. I don’t know where you get the basis for this. You have said that landline access has decreased marginally over the last three years, but there doesn’t seem to me to be so consequential as to dramatically undermine polling integrity.

    Labour and National were last neck and neck in consolidated polling in January 2007. Landline access hasn’t changed dramatically since then. If low landline access creates a bias against the Left in poll results, then that doesn’t explain why in January 2007 the consolidated results were so close.

    I suspect also that landline access issues are a bit of a myth, for two reasons. The first one is that landline access is as low among medium-high income apartment-dwellers as it is among low-income tenants. The second reason is that polling companies, when they take their samples, weight their results accordingly. They don’t simply say: “Right, we’re going to conduct two thousand phone calls, and take down the results of anybody who answers” (which the survey linked to this article, ironically, confesses to doing. They ensure their responses match the population in general, including age, ethnicity, income, geographical region, and historical voting preferences. It just isn’t credible to say that poor people miss out on getting surveyed, because polling methodology requires that they do.

    As you pointed out, a 2% change between the average of the sampling polls and the real poll was sufficient to change the outcome of the election.

    I’m not saying that there is no sampling or methodological bias. There probably is. But if it exists, it is within a 2% range, as we saw at the last election. It isn’t the ten percent range that might suddenly be made up between Labour and National this election. If the polls show a 15 point gap between Labour+Greens and National+Act in the week before the election, then really you’re just living in dreamland if you think that can be explained away by landline access.

    People who do canvassing know this because what we see when we’re phone canvassing and especially door knocking varies a *lot* from published polls all of the time. As the elections go by I keep seeing bigger and bigger variances between the polls and the canvassing.

    When you’re spending an afternoon doorknocking, you’re only doing so in a single meshblock. It is highly likely within a statistical meshblock, you’re going to see very little variance in voting preferences. Which is why if you’re door-knocking Victoria Avenue in Remuera, you get 80% voting National, or 80% voting Labour in many parts of Mangere. But you would have to be quite deluded to say that the voting pattern in four hundred doors you’ve successively knocked on is representative of the voting pattern generally, because that isn’t sampling at all.

  29. Anita 29

    Tim Ellis,

    A consolidated combination of a range of poll data (i.e., polls of polls), with a much larger combined sample, will mute any sampling or methodology errors.

    Unless they have the same sampling or methodological errors. Given they’re all outbound phone polling we can comfortably assume they have some sources of errors in common.

  30. Anita 30

    My main frustration with the published polls is that they don’t report their “would not answer” and “did not know” numbers. We can adjust in our heads for the socioeconomic biases of a phone poll, but we can’t adjust for information they don’t give us.

    The current published polling means something very differen if 95% of the electorate has decided from if 60% of the electorate is decided.

  31. Pat 31

    Matt P – I’ll stick with Cullen. Can’t see anyone brave enough to take him on. If Pascal’s Bookie is really a bookie, maybe he could set some odds and take bets.

    Helen would step aside end of 2009 or early 2010.

  32. lprent 32

    Tim: I’m short of time, but I’ll cover a couple of points, but won’t go through point by point.

    Listed land-line use hasn’t just reduced marginally – which appears to be the basis of your underlying argument. It has plummeted. In 1996 it was about 79% in my electorate, now it is 53%. In 1996 Mangere was close to 60%, now it is about 35%. In the North Shore it was in the high 80’s, now it is about 68%. The same trend is happening over the whole country and it is accelerating,

    As Anita says, if there was an inherent sampling error common to all of the polling companies, then a poll of polls merely compounds the error.

    That is exactly what I’m asserting – there is an inherent bias happening in the poll methodology. Using landlines is heavily biased against younger people, heavily biased against people on low incomes, and for that matter heavily biased against people I know (who you can’t find in phone books – they’re technophiles). The reduction has been considerably less in areas that vote conservative., considerably more in areas that vote progressive.

    If the polling companies weight on demographics then the effect gets compounded, not reduced. Imagine that you’re looking at 25-30 years olds by phone – hard to find. You’re likely to wind up with someone who does things traditionally, like having a listed land-line, and then multiplying it.

    Similarly if you get someone in Mangere by phone, what is the bet you get someone who is both relatively affluent AND conservative. They have a listed landline. As far as I can see having a listed landline is indicator that you’re more likely to be affluent, technophobic, and conservative.

    Of course the polls close towards reality the closer you get towards an election. You get more of the undecided answering (which is why the missing figures are more critical than who answers). I’ll give you a guess who I think is more likely to answer polls further away from an election. They aren’t younger left voters or older less affluent voters – they’re too busy surviving or doing their own thing to think about politics. It is the social conservatives…

    That is why both you and Hooten quote close (3 weeks) to the election polls when you start talking about poll accuracy. Hell they even start closing up between polling companies before the election. Try looking at the polls further away from the election say at 8 weeks. Look at how much variance you get – that is undecided voters. This year has already shown far more voliatility between polls than past election years. I think that the reason is the steadily reducing numbers of listed landlines.

    If the polls are wide really close to an election then I’d get more concerned. But at present I see media holding on to the polls as if they are the holy grail. It annoys me because that is not what I’m seeing in the phone polling we do, or the door knocking to fill in the areas that don’t have phones. It is a far more robust technique than pollsters use because we’re targeting the wavers and enrolled non-vote.

    It is going to be a hellishly close election when you factor in the coalition politics. Especially since the undecided are higher than I’ve ever seen in the last 18 years. It is all going to come down to turnout.

    Which of course is where the polls come back in – effective at stopping people voting. Thats why Hooten likes them, it helps with the spin.

  33. jcuknz 33

    I think the real indication of who will be PM if Helen might step down would be to have it on the Victoria University poll which you find mentioned at kiwiblog, I forget the name of it. They suggest it is more accurate becuase to participate you have to put your money where your mouth is …. bit hard on $13/hour though .. not for overpaid politicains.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    17 hours ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    19 hours ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    20 hours ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    21 hours ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    22 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 day ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    3 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    3 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    7 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago

  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago