Sunday, August 27, 2006


Everything has been hectic this month, not least of all work, and this has crowded out any time I might have had to blog.

Speaking of work, although this blog is entirely a personal distraction, I recently attempted to make use of blogs professionally. I was interested to see if blog commentary differed greatly from the MSM take on a project I've been managing. Two blogs, and, picked up on the story (which got good MSM coverage) and although the discussion is limited, it is very helpful becuase it is (a) more technically focused and (b) it is consistent with some internal feedback. I think blogs will be an increasingly useful and effective channel for public policy debate and formation in the very short term (although I don't think many government agencies will rush to use them as they are far less easily manipulated).

I'll blog some more on the project and report later.

On less pointy-headed issues, the family have decided to travel to France with friends to see a some of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. We've not bothered to try to see the All Blacks and have instead decided to purchase tickets to games in cities we want to visit and so we're off to the South of France (Montpellier for the games). I'm really pleased that one of the games we've got tickets for is Manu Samoa vs a qualifier.

Great to see the All Blacks win the Tri Nations and the Bledisloe. I've enjoyed all the games so far including the win against Australia in Auckland. I was particularly moved by the genuine affection and respect the crowd displayed on the occassion of the death of Te Arikinui and was particularly pleased by McCaw's comments on behalf of the team.

Clark's comments on the Tuqiri's tackle got lots of media attention here. Bottom line, Tuqiri's tackle was very very poor, not malicious in my opinion, but very poorly executed and deserving of the suspension. Phil Waugh on the other hand, his play on McCaw was clearly intended to injure and he is damn lucky to have avoided being punished.

Still on rugby, Sydney will not host a Bledisloe again next year which might have annoyed me but for the prospect of seeing them play at the MCG.


David C said...

Interesting! For those of us less hip to the jargon of the blogosphere, MSM = 'mainstream media'?
Also, you've linked to the NZ Treasury rather than Quinnan; I think the correct link is:
And 'far less easily manipulated'? Can you be suggesting that public officials would ever try to manage the reaction to one of their reports in a misleading way?!
Still I can see what you mean in terms of the immediate dive-bombing by Andrew Leigh. From a cursory read this guy appears to be an Expert[TM], but is there more to the story, or other context you'd want to add?
(I realise I might be getting ahead of the further post you've promised here.)

backin15 said...

Have fixed the Quiggan link thanks Dave.

By far less manipulated, I don't just mean by public officials or by simple media sophistry, I mean by media owners and by strong editorial lines.

Re Leigh's comments, I think he's significantly overstated his claim. The report clearly is not the worst of its kind, it is probably the best in its class even if the estimate of wage benefits is higher than he'd prefer - the direct benefits are an intermediate stop in the GE modelling and I'd be happy to value them down (though they're actually quite low already, lower than might be suggested by recent Australian and international studies).

It's no coincidence that today, Leigh and his colleagues released a report that purports to show that teaching standards, as measured by teacher literacy, are lower than they have been and wage (dis)incentives are a contributing factor. I think he's tub thumping for effect and over emphasising one part of the report's methodology to draw attention to his area of apparent expertise.