Posts by Walter Nicholls

  • Up Front: Why a Woman is Like a Bicycle,

    I'm a middle class straight white guy with a bike I hardly ever ride ... so I can only nod in clueless agreement and keep to a simple "thanks" also. I did feel the need to read this post (and some of the comments out loud) to the entire family, and the females in the audience nodded too, no doubt much more cluefully.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Access: GTFO of Our Accessible Bathrooms, in reply to Moz,

    Might also be available through ACC or MOH - I know it is in the catalogue of accessable who are a big provider of such things. I won't even begin to wonder what it would mean for any of you to be assessed as needing one on the public purse, and how long before you had it in your hands..

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Polling 2017: life beyond landlines?, in reply to Walter Nicholls,

    I'm no statistician

    Probably obvious, and now I've checked my facts, I'm guessing you're not pointing out relative differences in minor party votes.
    That recent Newshub poll is looking like a complete balls-up, though. At least the Newsroom poll has the excuse of a sampling a completely different set of people.
    For anyone watching, there's a good table of poll results at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2017

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Polling 2017: life beyond landlines?, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The problem is we are seeing 10% differences and that realistically means one or more polls are very wrong.

    I'm sure it has been pointed out by articles linked to from PA recently, margins of error are usually simplistically reported. So the results for Nat&Lab (near to 50% of answers) are much more accurate than the results for minor parties . If you take say a result "3% would vote for the Purple party" then what that means is that of their sample of 1000 people, 30 people. I'm no statistician, but I think that means the confidence in the Purple result is more like 1/√30 than 1/√1000 - or 18%. The only way to reduce that number is to ask more people.

    If they are both asking the same questions of literally the same people at the same time, though ... then the variation between is caused by them f**king with the data and it all depends on the accuracy of their assumptions multiplied by their competence.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Polling 2017: life beyond landlines?,

    both big parties' internal polling can be summed up as "bloody close".

    And I can't help feeling this is an indication of proof that the polls *are* influencing voting, or at least subsequent poll results. It's like putting a hot object next to a cold one .. after time they will reach equilibrium i.e. the same temperature / voter share. A sign of MMP maturity perhaps ? (Along with the major parties shedding their "extremists" into minor parties, and moderating their policies to satisfy the middle hump of the voter bell curve).

    A bit of an aside: Thanks to the MMP 5% threshold, another effect is occurring for the the smaller parties. Say I and my 24000 friends are dithering between voting Green and something else. If a poll says they're at 4%, then I might consider a vote for them wasted. .. they'll drop to 3%. If they're close to 5%, then we'll all say "OMG must help the Greens" (especially if we would like their likely coalition partner(s) to govern) and they'll go up instead; if they're at 6% or more, we might conclude they don't need our help (and hopefully vote with our conscience, which probably means they'll drop toward 5% again).

    This might be why there are high-profile parties sitting at a fraction of a percent right now. Or it might just be that their sole asset is an high-profile egotist, not that this would explain the party currently at 7%.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Polling 2017: life beyond landlines?,

    whatever reason phone polls have seemed to provide more credible results

    The obvious reason is that people participating in online surveys are self-selecting in the first place, and even if they start a survey, they can abandon it partway through and their opinion then counts for naught. I doubt there has been sufficient research on why people choose to participate or not online. The second you allude to, on the phone it is much harder psychologically to both give up, and to lie or just give a stupid answer.

    But the real problem here is the totally non-transparent scaling & fudging to get the simplistic 'poll results' When the opinions of 18-24 year olds are being reported based on statistical correlation with the opinions of 40-60 year olds and the three younger people who happened to answer Mum and Dad's phone the day the surveyor called... no wonder the results are 'volatile'.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Surprisingly Sincere Up…, in reply to Moz,

    I assume there's a latinisation requirement for names as well? How far does that go - are Maori macrons ok?

    Using Gööglə I didn't find anything quickly, but my first thought was that your name should be such that Births/Deaths/Marriage would also accept it. All I could find here was "it is ... a name (for example, it must not include numbers or symbols)." which doesn't really answer your questions.

    The macrons on the other hand strikes me as obvious - it's an official language of NZ and the macrons are part of the spelling, so any Government entity that can't deal with that is severely deficient (maybe even breaking some law somewhere) . And people genuinely can get by with only a Māori name.
    Following that point of view, NZ Sign Language should be ok for everything as well, but that's probably trickier (finding people so every polling booth has at an electoral officer versant in each of Māori and NZSL is almost certainly unrealistic)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem,

    14 Green MPs sitting in the house (x3)
    and if one Green MP should put a foot in mouth
    there'll be 11 green MPs...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…,

    It's got to the point where I've seriously considered that having two kids is too expensive. It's not just a 10% on a potentially million-dollar house, getting through University isn't exactly cheap either. My 15-year-old has already decided she'll never buy in Auckland.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: E-cigarettes and the path of…,

    the blanket decision to ban vaping wherever smoking is banned isn't entirely logical:

    I can't possibly agree. It's about not losing ground, which has taken decades to gain, granting the populace the right to clear (not saying clean <g>) air. We can choose not to smoke*, but we can't choose not to breathe. (* ignoring addiction for a moment). My children consider smoke-free environments normal and I'd like to keep it that way. That doesn't mean cafés and the like can't keep or even enlarge 'vaping permitted' areas ... but not on the bus, please.

    [ Bit late to the party here because I didn't have my PA password reading on my phone yesterday]

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

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