Evidence Based Policy?

Last night I had a little conversation with one of my local elected representatives. Sure, I told him I wasn’t planning to vote for his party, but I was very interested in his party’s position on the environment, or lack thereof. Given how reliant New Zealand is on dairy farming (and food production in general), it is critical that we retain our “clean green” image, or risk a huge problem in the future when customers are turned off New Zealand products because of perception. Yes, perception, because reality has already overtaken us.

I pointed out Federated Farmers’ own research that points out that overall positive perception of the dairy industry is 65% and dropping (see page 13 of this pdf). The response? “Ben I don’t even believe in political polls let alone a poll on perceptions of dairying.

You don’t what? How can a politician come out and say they don’t believe in polling (aka research)? Is he saying he makes policy decisions from the seat of his pants?

I’ve left out the rest of the petty conversation, including the part where Tau referred to “people like you”. As someone who has voted ACT, National and Green in the past, I’m not sure who “people like me” are.

Please vote.



  1. While I think you can successfully argue the flaws in most opinion polling, the point stands: National has stated repeatedly and quite strongly its preference for truthiness over evidence.

  2. Ben, you’re probably better off having a chat with local Labour candidate, Phil Twyford if you want to voice your concerns.
    Tau seems more interested in watching the rugby and what’s for dinner than representing the people of Te Atatu.

  3. Tau is at 40 on the National list, was 26 on the list at the previous election… he’s basically dead wood.

  4. Politicians tend not to believe in things that doesn’t benefit them.

    Q: What is a definition of a honest politician?

    A: One that stays bought.

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