Lies, Damned lies and Statistical Lies

By   /   July 3, 2016  /   38 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

This government has done what few other Western democracies have achieved; a state of Orwellianism that Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, and other dictatorships required unrelenting brute force to achieve.

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ministry-of-truth-update

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In the last few years,  my writing has involved a wide range of topics affecting the social/economic/political aspects of our nation. The one common factor in my writing has been the ability to  research facts and figures and put them into some usable context, either for evidential, or high-lighting purposes.

Offering an opinion that the government is hollowing-out Child,Youth, and Family is one thing. Carrying out research; finding information through the ‘net; asking specific questions using the Official Information Act are the means by which hard facts can be mined; refined; and presented to the reader in a form that presents a credible case to the audience. Stories such as  “State house sell-off in Tauranga unravelling?” and “Ongoing jobless tally” are put together using information, quotes, financial and statistical data.

Two stories late last year illustrated how National – with silence or active co-operation by compliant state-sector bosses – has been able to manipulate statistics to present a favourable public perception of it’s management of the country.

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Media stories of the Week - Police Commissioner Mike Bush on dubious police practices

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Though occassionally, the truth slips out, as Greg O’Connor revealed on TVNZ’s Q+A on 25 October, last year;

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Weekend Revelations 3 – Greg O’Connor and criminal statistics

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Fudging statistics, numbers, facts, and dollar-figures is not isolated when it comes to this government. Only a few days ago, English was sprung giving false financial information relating to Sue Moroney’s paid-parental leave bill;

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English admits maths error in bill veto defence

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The Radio NZ report went on to state;

Ms Moroney challenged him about the figures in Parliament.

“Does he stand by his statement to Radio New Zealand on 17 June 2016 that extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks would add when it’s fully in place about $280 million a year.”

Mr English admitted he was incorrect and should have used the figures written in the veto certificate he himself had tabled.

“The government currently spends about $280m a year on paid parental leave, Labour’s proposal once fully implemented would cost around $120m per year on top of that – or $100m per year net of tax. Net of tax the proposal would cost $280m over the next four years.”

Ms Moroney then asked how Mr English got it so wrong.

He replied that he did so because he confused the $280m over four years, with $280m a year.

This is our Finance Minister confusing $280 million per year with over a four-year period. No wonder we’re over $60 billion in debt.

National has been crowing for the last few years that “crime has been falling“;

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Offences at 24-year low, crime down for third year running

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Even the Police Commissioner got in on the ‘act’;

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Crime rate falls to 29-year low

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A huge amount of hard work from our Police has gone into achieving these fantastic results,” said Tolley in 2013. “Fantastic” is right – as in fantasy-fantastic.

Because it did not take long before people started realising that the Police stats were dodgy, and most likely bogus.

This was confirmed by  outgoing Police Association President, Greg O’Conner, on TVNZ’s Q+A, on 25 October, in a very candid  interview with Michael Parkin.

On statistics,  Parkin referred  to  National and Police  trumpeting a 30% drop in crime. O’Conner responded wryly;

@3.10

“Well, it’s uh, lies, damned lies, and statistics. If you look at the crime stats, um, which is those recorded stats, you’ll say the government and police administration are right. If you look at the stats around calls for service, they’re the phone calls that police receive in communications centes, etc, and just an example, family violence, domestic disputes; up by 10% a year pretty much, and across the board, 20% increase. So it’s the calls for service, to the extent that the communications centres couldn’t manage last summer. There’s a fear, and we’re obviously we’re trying to make sure it doesn’t happen this year. So the two are going in completely different directions.”

Parkin pointedly asked if the statistics are being manipulated. O’Conner’s response  was startling in it’s honesty;

@3.55

“Of course they are. Every government department – I mean, what happens is that, the stats themselves are fair, but I mean I see it as a debate [like] about health, y’know, medical – the waitings lists have going down, but people get kicked of waiting lists and so it’s, you achieve – Put it this way, with crime stats, what we’ve set out to do is the way to cut crime stats is to hit your bulk crime. So if you have any success there, of course, that’s going to be big numbers down. And what you ignore is your small  numbers. You ignore, in fact, interestingly enough you ignore drugs. You ignore a lot of your serious stuff that you only find if you go looking. And in the past that’s got us into real trouble. Got us into trouble with the child abuse files, in particular, and you remember, that they were put aside. Because they weren’t politically known. They were business as usual. All of a sudden we were concentrating on the crime and crash reduction, um, and we ignored that stuff. And so you’ve got to be careful. And this is where the politicisation of policing is really dangerous. It’s not done by the Minister saying ‘you gotta do this and you gotta do that’, it’s done by funding.”

O’Conner’s scorn is confirmed by an event last year where one police district was caught out, red-handed, falsifying crime statistics. Seven hundred burglary offences “disappeared”;

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Police made burglaries vanish - greg o'conner - national - crime statistics

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Herald journalist, Eugene Bingham, reported;

“ It transpired others knew about the allegations around the same time, including the local MP and then-Minister of Justice, Judith Collins.”

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Two-year search for 'ghost crimes' truth - greg o'conner - national - crime statistics

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A police report “raised questions over pressures to meet crime reduction targets”, but Police were quick to assure that the fudged stats were “isolated“;

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Police deny being caught out by false review claims - greg o'conner - national - crime statistics

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“Isolated”? As far back as 2012, Police were issuing warnings for petty-crime, instead of prosecuting;

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Warnings to petty crims 'freeing up police time'

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Then-Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said;

“ These are 19,000 people who would otherwise go to court, who would clutter up the system in terms of court time, let alone police officers preparing prosecution files and spending time in court.”

So the policy of issuing warnings “freed up police time” and “un-clogged the Court system”?

It also created a drop in crime statistics.

How convenient.

The above Herald story, “Warnings to petty crims ‘freeing up police time’ ” appeared in the Herald in January 2012. So by April 2013, Police Minister Anne Tolley was able to say with (almost) a straight face;

“ These statistics show that our Police are getting it right, and I want to congratulate the Commissioner and all Police staff for their efforts in preventing crime and making communities safer.”

It’s easy to reduce crime. Just “massage” the stats  away.

“Massaging” statistics does not work for long, as current Police Commissioner Bush recently discovered;

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Police concerned at national crime spike

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(Listen also to Radio NZ Checkpoint interview (2′ 39″))

Both Police Minister Judith Collins and Commissioner Bush resorted to old-fashioned “spin” (aka “bullshitry”) to explain away this embarrassing development;

Police Commissioner Mike Bush told MPs at today’s Law and Order Select Committee the jump in crime had to be kept in perspective.

“Burglary rates are some of the lowest rates in over a decade, in recent times there has been an increase – now that concerns me,” the commissioner said.

Police Minister Judith Collins tried to put a positive spin on the jump in crime when speaking to reporters later.

“Well there may have been a slight bump in crime and I think the commissioner said that was most likely so, but I think what we’re seeing is if police go after drug offenders, that’s always going to be counting as offences,” she said.

On this basis, if  Police  did not arrest anyone; nor prosecuted anyone, there would be zero crime in New Zealand. According to statistics, anyway.

So much for one one National’s vaunted, lynch-pin policies;

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National hoarding staying strong on crime

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National’s ministers have never liked statistics. They have a tendency to show up the failings of this inept government. Who can forget then-Welfare Minister, Paula Bennett in August 2012 giving an explanation (of sorts) why her government was not willing to undertake measuring the poverty line;

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measuring-poverty-line-not-a-priority-bennett

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“ There is no official measure of poverty in New Zealand. The actual work to address poverty is perhaps what is most important. Children move in and out of poverty on a daily basis.”

Though how Bennett proposed to “address poverty” when she was fearful of even measuring it has never been fully explained.

But as we know, since Bennett’s decision, poverty has increased and stories of people living in garages, cars, and families crammed into over-crowded houses have come to light. Despite not being measured, poverty refuses to go away.

What an inconvenient, annoying nuisance.

On 29 June 2016, Statistics NZ announced that it would be changing the manner in which it defined a jobseeker;

Change: Looking at job advertisements on the internet is correctly classified as not actively seeking work. This change brings the classification in line with international standards and will make international comparability possible.

Improvement: Fewer people will be classified as actively seeking work, therefore the counts of people unemployed will be more accurate.

The statement went on to explain;

Change in key labour market estimates:

  • Decreases in the number of people unemployed and the unemployment rate

  • Changes to the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate range from 0.1 to 0.6 percentage points. In the most recent published quarter (March 2016), the unemployment rate is revised down from 5.7 percent to 5.2 percent 

  • Increases in the number of people not in the labour force 

  • Decreases in the size of the labour force and the labour force participation rate

The result of this change? At the stroke of a pen, unemployment fell from 5.7% to 5.2%.

Simply because if a person was job-searching using the internet they were “not actively seeking work“.

Which beggars belief as the majority of jobseekers will be using the internet. It is the 21st century – what else would they be using?

In fact, a government website – careersnz – states categorically;

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careersnz - use the internet

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Work and Income’s (WINZ) website states similarly;

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work and income - where to look

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On-line job advertising company, Seek,  reported a sharp rise in job adverts on their websites.

For the government statistician to unilaterally declare that “looking at job advertisements on the internet is correctly classified as not actively seeking work” beggars belief. One might as well say that if a person admitted to hospital shows no outward signs of serious illness, then that person is obviously not sick.

When most jobs are advertised online – as stated by government agencies!!! – where else would one look for a job? By studying tea-leaves perhaps?

The result of Statistics NZ’s “improvements” by removing online job-hunting as job-seeking is obvious; the rate of unemployment dropped.

How surprising.

Stats NZ actually seemed pleased with the consequence;

Fewer people will be classified as actively seeking work, therefore the counts of people unemployed will be more accurate.

How can “the counts of people unemployed” be “more accurate” if large numbers of unemployed are culled from the count?!?! In what Universe is this an accurate count to include some unemployed, but not others, for the most specious reason?

This makes no sense in terms of accurate statistics. To any sober person, an unemployed jobseeker is one who is;

  1. Unemployment
  2. Job-seeking

There is no rationale for arbitrarily removing job seekers who use the internet to seek work. Especially as two government departments encourage on-line searching because “most jobs in NZ are advertised online“.

There can only be one rational explanation: the unemployment statistics are inconvenient. Therefore change the parameters of the statistics.

This change to Statistics NZ is of considerable benefit to the National government. Their policies have consistently failed to reduced unemployment in a meaningful way.

The perception is that “strings have been pulled”; “whispers made into certain ears”; and Ministers’ expectations made clear to certain senior civil servants.

If all this is true, this would have to be one of the most under-hand things that National has done these last eight years. This would have to be one of the worst.

Aside from the fact that it is another in a long list of lies, bendy-truths, omissions, etc, this one is a wilful attempt to hide the consequences of their failing policies.

It was bad enough when Stats NZ defined being “employed” as;

Employed: people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, did one of the following:

* worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment

* worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative

If working one hour, without pay, is the minimum measure of being “employed”, then what must our true rate of unemployment actually be?

As much as possible, I deal with facts in my writing. But when supposedly independent, non-partisan, ostensibly-accurate data-collection and presentation is no longer a true reflection of reality, then we have reached a point where I am dealing in assumptions, half-facts, and outright distortions.

This government has done what few other Western democracies have achieved; a state of Orwellianism that Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, and other dictatorships required unrelenting brute force to achieve.

When it comes to National, believe nothing; question everything. Misinformation is policy.

Welcome – to National’s “Brighter Future”.

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National-Party-Holds-Conference-Wellington-sJ7OyG8uc6Yl

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Note: Some parts of this story are an excerpt from a previous blogpost,  Weekend Revelations #3 – Greg O’Connor and criminal statistics.

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References

TVNZ: Q+A – Police Association president steps down

Radio NZ: English admits maths error in bill veto defence

Beehive.govt.nz: Offences at 24-year low, crime down for third year running

NZ Herald: Crime rate falls to 29-year low

NZ Herald:  Police made burglaries vanish

NZ Herald:  Two-year search for ‘ghost crimes’ truth

NZ Herald:  Police deny being caught out by false review claims

NZ Herald: Warnings to petty crims ‘freeing up police time’

Radio NZ: Police concerned at national crime spike

Radio NZ: Checkpoint – Police concerned at national crime spike (audio)

NZ Herald: Measuring poverty line not a priority – Bennett

Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey – Revisions to labour market estimates

Careersnz: Job hunting tips

Work and Income: Where to look

Fairfax media: Wellington jobs advertised on Seek up 11 per cent over past year

Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey – Definitions

Other Blogposts

Polity: English canards

The Daily Blog: To make the unemployment stats drop, Government now claims anyone looking for jobs on the internet isn’t unemployed

The Standard: The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

The Standard: “Post-truth” politics (and false equivalences)

Previous related blogposts

John Key’s “pinch of salt” style of telling the truth

National – self-censoring embarrassing statements?

Weekend Revelations #3 – Greg O’Connor and criminal statistics

Media stories of the Week: Police Commissioner Mike Bush on dubious police practices

The Mendacities of Mr English – Fibbing from Finance Minister confirmed

The Mendacities of Mr Key # 16: The sale of Kiwibank eight years in the planning?

That was Then, This is Now #28 – John Key on transparency

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38 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Another Magical expose’ of National’s spin and diversion of the truth by selective |cherry picking” to show results that falsely benefit the national Party at their expense of telling the truth to the public.

    The MSM is our last opportunity to tell the truth, but will they finally step up and act responsibly to tell the honest truth as to the real facts surrounding all these public issues.

    I hope the MSM finally help the public to know the real facts.

    As to Martyn’s praise for Patrick Gower and the team investigation of the PM and the Saudi sheep deal.

    It was an important change from the usual hollowed out “Nation” programming and showed some serious investigative Journalism integrity finally.

    I am concerned that this comes hard on the heels of rumours of a proposal for Media works and a merging with publically funded TV1 as there I see a possible reason for this change of heart for media work’s to come out with some sweeteners for public consumption of some “real hard hitting investigative programming to quell the worries for us about if the marriage of Media works and TV 1 do combine, that we will view the media works as becoming a REAL journalistic media?

  2. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    I just hope future governments (assuming we ever get one… because you know democracy itself could be next on the chopping block under National) reverse these policies. Unfortunately, history tells us that by and large this is not the case, with replacements governments usually doubling down and adopting the existing policies because it makes them look better too. What government would want to report true unemployment and crime statistics if it reflects badly on them (e.g. headline: “Crime is up a whopping 60% since Labour took Office” or “Unemployment surges to 10 year high”)?

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      I fear you are right, Labour may consider, hey, this may suit us when we are in government, same as underfunding the Ombudsmen and other watchdogs, that is why there has not been much more protest coming from them. Winston Peters was the only opposition leader and MP calling the government by what it really does, nothing much short from being corrupt, when they discussed the appointment of a new temporary Ombudsman in Parliament last week.

      Labour and Greens simply kept their words calm and timid, not wanting to appear too rebellious.

      There is something very rotten in this government, and it must be spoken out, very clearly. And only if the opposition leads with principles will they win credit from the voters.

  3. XRAY says:

    Nationals blatant deception with naggingly high unemployment figures is just another nail in their corruption coffin. This bullshit is simply breath taking but the corporate media ignore it.

    Surely the sum of any corruption free society is that it’s official statistics must be beyond reproach because anyone putting money in this country will start thinking long and hard about investing otherwise!

  4. Helena says:

    Time for you to enter the political fray, Frank.

  5. mary_a says:

    Excellent work yet again Frank. Much appreciated.

    Over the past eight years, we Kiwis have been treated by government and its agencies, like mushrooms … kept in the dark about almost everything and fed BS, in the hope in the harsh light of day we will remain complacent and compliant to suit the lying, deceptive John Key and his National co conspirators’ dubious agenda! Seems to be working, because the foul, arrogant, smirking traitors are still there, as contaminating, vile and odious as ever!

    Exactly how bad do things have to get, before Kiwis decide to retaliate against Key & Co and begin the challenge of reclaiming back what has been stolen from us by stealth?

  6. Mooloomagic says:

    So now I know what the ‘Cusp of something special’ is that the PM said during the 2014 election campaign. It’s ‘Post Truth’ or deliberate misinformation and fudging statics to place the government in a good light. Yes Frank we are an Orwellian state sadly most voters have no idea this is happening and remain in blissful wilful ignorance taking their lead from Government’s cheer leaders. Lord Haw Haw ( Hosking) Larry Williams, Paddy Gower Tracey Watkins, Audrey Young, Fran O’Sullivan , Leighton Smith, Paul Henry and other journalist who are so enamoured with Key and are more then happy to compromise themselves spreading the lies,myths and spin or should I say ‘Post truth’ of this wicked callous government. Those who vote National seem to choose ignorance over facts and information.

  7. Mike in Auckland says:

    “For the government statistician to unilaterally declare that “looking at job advertisements on the internet is correctly classified as not actively seeking work” beggars belief. One might as well say that if a person admitted to hospital shows no outward signs of serious illness, then that person is obviously not sick.”

    Yes, that is a good comparison, Frank, showing the absurdity of this change.

    The revised unemployment figure will be seen as “more accurately” meeting the government’s own standards and interests, I suppose.

    I am appalled by this change. If it is international practice to not count those looking at job ads on the web, then the international practice must be put into question, as it was probably also changed years ago, upon pressures by neoliberal governments of states who exerted pressures on organisations to change their criteria.

    I was fortunate to still have WiNZ pay me for having a landline phone, when getting a benefit, as so many now have only mobile phones, for which I think they pay a person nothing, even if they need a phone.

    WINZ do also not pay people for their internet connection fees and charges, as I know, and at the same time they tell people to use the internet when dealing with them. The 0800 phone line is often so overloaded, you have to wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes to get someone answer your call.

    And you can no longer simply walk into a WINZ office to discuss things at the reception, you now need an appointment for anything. Applying for benefits forces you to fill out dozens of pages of forms and to jump through many hoops.

    So no wonder benefit numbers go down, they use every trick in the tool box to fiddle with numbers and to deny people access.

    I once used one of those computers at the WINZ Office and it was difficult to use, had limited access to the internet and so, it was rather useless, hence I have always used the web for job searching.

    This government is criminal how it gradually and increasingly disowns us and denies us services, under their “better public service”, that is only better in saving them costs, nothing else.

  8. Nick J says:

    Good deconstruct Frank, maybe you need to crowd source a website similar to http://www.shadowstats.com

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Agreed Frank this is excellent investigative routing out of evidence here and we hope this gets featured on MSM sometime to give public the opportunity to judge who’s lying here.

      • Thanks, Cleangreen.

        For future updates of my “Jobless Tally” reports, I’ll be referencing Statistic NZ’s decision to arbitrarily narrow the definition of unemployment.

        It will make future “reductions” of unemployed numbers highly suspect, and rain on the parade of any government MP attempting to exploit “lower unemployment rates” as a success. I hope the msm take note of the dubious nature of future unemployment stats.

  9. Steve King says:

    Great work again, Frank. So, one of the next questions is, can anybody reliably, and impartially, come up with an accurate estimate/conclusion as to the actual numbers of unemployed. Using sensible criteria. And can we break it down into age groups. I suspect that the numbers of unemployed youth/young people, aged say 18 to 25, are truly frightening, as are the numbers for those over 50.

  10. Katherine Delaney says:

    It’s just a blatant lie really, isn’t it. They’ve gone all semantical with the notion of “looking” at jobs on the internet being some kind of isolated activity, set apart from the full act of job hunting, which necessarily involves “looking” at a job advert. And, as has been said, as they’re mostly on the internet, like everything else, where is one supposed to “look”? If I “look” for a job in the newspaper I’ll assume that I’m also not “looking” for a job as long as I’m looking, until I actually put fingers to keyboard to begin the application process.
    I think I’ll go out and rattle the paper cup down t’road tomorrow for an hour, hopefully someone will give me ten cents, then I can tell WINZ, or Statistics NZ, whoever cares the most, that I’ve been employed for the week.
    Choice. We can trade bits of fudge. One bit of fudge for another.

  11. Pedro says:

    To be a good liar you have to have a great memory, National obviously are rubbish liars but are ably assisted in perpetuating their litany of lies by a subservient media who collectively have the memory storage of an amoeba. Outstanding work Frank.

  12. Geoff Lye says:

    Hey Frank Just as a suggestion why don’t you set up your own employment poll using watea 5th estate.

    Break it down like this;

    Unemployed no work at all on a benefit

    unemployed no work at all no benefit

    work one to 10 hours per week

    work 10 to 20 hours per week

    work 20 to 30 hours per week

    work 30 to 40 hours

    work 40 hours plus per week

    See what results you get

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      FRANK I HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO MARTYN’S JUST POSTED ARTICLE ABOUT POLICE SEEKING WIDER SURVEILLENCE POWERS AND FELT YOU MUST SEE OUR RESPONSE OF HOEW DEEP THOOSE POWERS MANY OVER RIDE OUR SERECY RIGHTS CURRENTLY LEGISLATED UNDER THE 1993 ELECTORAL ACT SECTION 197.

      SOMEONE IN OPPOSITION MUST PLACE AN INJUNCTION TO STOP POLICE ABUSING OUR LEGISLATED RIGHTS HERE.

      https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/07/03/what-wait-the-police-are-trying-to-gain-more-search-and-surveillance-powers/

      Yes Martyn I was Dr Wayne Hope talk about this on 5th Estate the other night, and he said if they get this it will truly a police state then!!!!!

      I worry why the opposition aren’t even saying anything about this yet as they must have been briefed in parliament already before we all heard?

      And would this extend to surveillance over us all as community political activists too?

      Is the ruling party Nactional also exposed to the same surveillance too?

      Would they be able to spy through a police portal into all opposition members activities before the up coming election so this will benefit only them?

      This should be forced to be investigated by a Royal commission now as this creeping police control is getting opened up far to free to be used as a corruption device and to prevent “fair secretive secure election process” under the Electoral Act rules of Electoral secret voting rights the Commissioner has already advised us is our rights??
      QUOTE COMISSONER SAID IN AN EMAIL TO US TWO MONTHS AGO;

      “THE ELECTORAL ACT 1993; under section 187 of the Electoral Act 1993 to protect the secrecy of the ballot, no person can see how the voter has voted”

      IF THE POLICE HAVE WIDE SPEAD POWERS OF SUVEILLENCE OVER US THEY COULD OVER RIDE THESE RIGHT UNDER THE 1993 ELECTORAL ACT SECTION 187 FOR A SERCET VOTE.

      WE NEED OPPOSITION PARIES TO PLACE AN INJUCTION TO STOP THESE POLICE POWERS BILL.

  13. gastarbeiter says:

    Talk about splitting hairs – 95% of jobseeking is now done online. If you are ‘looking’ online, you are likely to be ‘applying’ also. So if you are ‘applying’ i.e. a jobseeker (what the UB is now called) and unemployed, you are NOT unemployed according to this government

  14. Words says:

    YOU, FRANK MACSKASY ARE A TRUE AND REAL JOURNALIST, you put the so called reporters of msm to shame. Thank you.

    Thank you again Mr Macskasy for putting the truth out there, and it needs to be distributed far more widely. I enjoy reading all of your articles, and am looking forward to the next one.

  15. The Other Mike says:

    Well you have to wonder how lonhg this Govt can maintain the “you can foolk all the people some of the time” principle for much longer.

    They are are, essentially, treating the whole country as fools. I, for one, fell gravely insulted by the lies, halftruths and plain pandering to the ignorant fan base that passes for “politics” today.

    I am NOT a fool – but they are counting on enough of us to be fools to vote them back in.

    That is why they are now afraid. Too many pictures of homeless and people living in cars on their bought and paid for TV and radio.

    Enough!

    These guys could not run a paper chase in a newspaper factory. They are afraid of actual facts like this: (sound familar?)

    “While the past two years have been good for the majority of Americans’ income growth, they still haven’t fully recovered from the recession. For the bottom 99 percent, incomes fell 11.6 percent during the height of the recession from 2007 to 2009. Afterward, they grew just 7.6 percent between 2009 and 2015 — not enough to make up for the downturn. Incomes for the 99 percent have only recovered about 60 percent of what they lost.” http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/37779-income-inequality-is-at-the-highest-level-in-american-history

    This is what happens when RW neocons rule the roost (very funny clip from Bill Maher which should scare the crap out of JC!) then progressives actually take charge like adults: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017389892

  16. Draco T Bastard says:

    This change brings the classification in line with international standards and will make international comparability possible.

    Bringing our standards in line with international ones that are obviously wrong?

    Yeah, you just don’t do that. Standards are there to give us all better information with which to make decisions with, not to protect the failed policies of the government.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      I wonder who formed the “international standards”, maybe the many neoliberal governments sending delegates to the UN, WTO, ILO and so forth, to tell them to do what their business clientele in their home countries would like to see.

      The race to the bottom continues, to find the lowest common denominator of little value and common sense.

    • Thanks, Ropata.

      I’ve seen BLiP’s piece on Key’s lies and it’s a respectable piece of work that I’ve congratulated him on. Since s/he published it, it’s been referenced more times than I can remember.

  17. ALH84001 says:

    Unbelievable. I’ll never be able to read “1984” again and view it as fantasy.

    I’ll be interested if the msm, aside from Radio NZ, pick up on this.

    Good reporting, Frank.

  18. Jax says:

    Thankyou Frank..

    I’m not quite sure when the mainstream-media got the public to accept the political words, underclass to replace working class or vulnerable challenge to replace crisis, facilitation to replace corruption, spin for fact and allow that they all lie or accidentally confuse or get things wrong as Key, English, McCully, Smith, Tolley, Bennett most recently have, as permissable here?

    That they have managed to, is so detrimemtal
    When nothing they say adds up to what we are actually experiencing or see.
    When what confronts us every day refutes what we are told, no wonder they need security and are using media filters like Henry Hosking and Plunket to repeat the doublespeak into common use ..
    What you demonstrate in this article as clear as the failure of the agrihub bribe in the desert to achieve a trade deal, yet people are still waiting for what to rid us of these charlatans?

  19. Jax says:

    Thankyou Frank..

    I’m not quite sure when the mainstream-media got the public to accept the political words, underclass to replace working class or vulnerable challenge to replace crisis, facilitation to replace corruption, spin for fact and allow that they all lie or accidentally confuse or get things wrong as Key, English, McCully, Smith, Tolley, Bennett most recently have, as permissable here?

    That they have managed to, is so detrimemtal
    When nothing they say adds up to what we are actually experiencing or see.
    When what confronts us every day refutes what we are told, no wonder they need security and are using media filters like Henry Hosking and Plunket to repeat the doublespeak into common use ..
    What you demonstrate in this article as clear as the failure of the agrihub bribe in the desert to achieve a trade deal, yet people are still waiting for what to rid us of these charlatans?

  20. Sally's Husband says:

    Brilliant piece, Frank. It’s scandalous that Statistics N.Z. has gone down this path of fudging figures. I don’t believe for a moment that they’re just following international “standard practice”. That is just not credible.

    Especially when, as you correctly point out, using the internet for job searching is common-place. Certainly not using newspapers which is so Last Century!!

    Stats N.Z. have damaged their credibility with this action.

  21. mosa says:

    Keep up the great work Frank , very insightful and frightening.
    If only this could reach and educate the wider public we would be a better country for it.

  22. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 3 July […]

  23. […] Lies, Damned lies and Statistical Lies […]