Survey “reveals significant gaps in adult New Zealanders’ general knowledge”

The NZ Initiative has done a survey to try to gage levels of public knowledge.

New research released by The New Zealand Initiative reveals significant gaps in adult New Zealanders’ general knowledge.

Ignorance is not bliss: Why knowledge matters (and why we may not have enough of it) argues that although information is readily available nowadays, our basic knowledge of subjects like geography, history, and maths is low.

To get a glimpse of the state of general knowledge in New Zealand, the Initiative commissioned a representative survey of 1000 voting-age New Zealanders. Respondents were asked 13 general knowledge questions.

All of the questions asked in the survey:

I’ll change this to include the answers and results later.

 

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47 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  19th November 2019

    Surprised the NZ Initiative really care….thought that’s the way they like it…sheep to the slaughter.
    NZ is not unique in people having weak general knowledge…YT shows dozens of examples where the ‘man’ in the street can’t answer the most simple questions…e.g..in American…name a country that begins with U….um…Yugoslavia….er…???

    Reply
    • Ray

       /  19th November 2019

      Rather amusingly the Stuff article (shock, horror) although it goes to the third degree has no right answer for how many days it takes for the earth to go round the sun.

      Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th November 2019

    The land court question offers two incorrect answers.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  19th November 2019

      Hey Al…maybe the correct answer is…neither!

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th November 2019

      Which one is incorrect and why?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  19th November 2019

        I.e. the one that says to make it easier for Pakeha to purchase Maori land comes up as correct via several sources on google. So why do you contend it’s incorrect, Al?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  19th November 2019

          Because I went and read the Act and the duties of the Court.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  19th November 2019

            Don’t be obtuse. That’s telling us what you did, not why the answer is wrong.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th November 2019

              It’s telling you how to find out for yourself from the proper source. Don’t be lazy.

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              It’s quite clear from the 1862 Act that the 1865 Act provides the mechanism for establishing title as the means to facilitate land purchases from Maori.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th November 2019

              Establishing title and shares of title returns ownership to Maori where justified.

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              I win again 🏆

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              I might need to get a bigger truck. 🤔

            • Duker

               /  19th November 2019

              Reading the Act may tell you one thing , what the Mps said they wanted it to do may be another
              The main purpose to abolish the crowns pre emption or first right to buy native land.
              All the easier for Europeans dear Wilco
              https://teara.govt.nz/en/te-tango-whenua-maori-land-alienation/page-5
              “One problem was the ‘10 owners rule’ of the 1865 act, which limited the number of owners on a certificate of title to 10. The 10 may have been intended as representatives who held the land as trustees for the other owners, but in practice, once they received Crown grants they became legal owners.”
              The Native Land Court in practice
              https://teara.govt.nz/en/te-tango-whenua-maori-land-alienation/page-6
              That version of the NLC act didnt last long but was too late by then for a lot of maori owners
              Some times last version of an Act on record isnt really what the first version was all about . A trap for beginners

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th November 2019

              The Act gave Maori title if they wished to apply for it. They could then use it or sell it on the open market as opposed to being trapped with a single buyer setting the price – the Crown. The PC interpretation is creepily and cringe-worthily.insulting to Maori and settlers. The implied notion that most lanf dhould have remained locked up in tribal communsl ownership for the next century is so stupid that only a Lefty could entertain it.

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              The implied notion that most land should have remained locked up in tribal communal ownership for the next century is so stupid that only a Lefty could entertain it.

              As you’re the only poster to see such an implied notion, that makes you a lefty, Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th November 2019

              Rubbish. Exposing an implication is not accepting it. Enabling Maori voluntarily and lawfully to leave a communistic tribal dictatorship for a democratic market economy was not some kind of wicked exploitative abuse.

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              I never said it was.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th November 2019

              That is the current Lefty narrative from academics and taught in schools. It is the assumption behind the implication in the question/answer that creating a land market unfairly advantaged Pakeha.

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              It made it easier for Pakeha to purchase Maori land. That’s all the answer needed for that question. Rants beyond that are unnecssary.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2019

              No ranting about it, duperez. The claimed correct answer is grossly misleading and politically slanted. The factual answer is that it gave Maori legal recognition and title to their land and enabled them to retain or sell it as they wished.

          • Blazer

             /  20th November 2019

            Alan’s right the Act enabled shifty European’ s to acquire land for…beads and blankets….all done in the …

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2019

              Go back to defending your shifty politicians, B. Even if they are not Europeans.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th November 2019

              It’s a gross insult to Maoris to say that they were that stupid about their land and would give it away for beads and blankets.

              That question is emotively and clumsily worded, I think.

  3. Gezza

     /  19th November 2019

    When you read the article it’s not quite as bad as it at first seems.

    Almost a third of of people thought dinosaurs and humans co-existed
    There are a lot more creationists here than I thought

    10 per cent thought former British prime minister Winston Churchill was a fictional character
    That’s not too bad. Churchill for us baby boomers was very recent history. He was always featuring in documentaries, movies, & general discussion. Two generations later he’s ancient history to many younger folk & probably seems mythological, if they’ve actually ever even seen anything about him on facebook.

    and almost 20 per cent did not know the capital of Australia
    Even back in my schooldays a lot us just assumed it was Sydney because their harbour bridge & opera house are so well-known.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th November 2019

      For comparison (2008):

      “A fifth of British teenagers believe Sir Winston Churchill was a fictional character, while many think Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur and Eleanor Rigby were real, a survey shows.”

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1577511/Winston-Churchill-didnt-really-exist-say-teens.html

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  19th November 2019

      ”Almost a third of of people thought dinosaurs and humans co-existed
      There are a lot more creationists here than I thought”

      Well, I remember reading an article with a debate between two anthropologists. On was arguing man was around at the time of the dinosaurs because footprints in rock sediment match the timeline of dinosaurs walking the earth. Worse, one print looked like a pattern a sport shoe sole would leave. The other anthropologist was basically arguing ( my perception) that that evidence was anomalous and didn’t disprove the standard` accepted evidence and timelines.

      Creationism doesn’t need to come into this debate.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  19th November 2019

        What debate?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  19th November 2019

          This debate: and variants of it.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  19th November 2019

            That’s all about Rubio embrarassing himself :

            “Finally, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida — a Tea Party darling and possible 2016 presidential candidate — admits that dinosaurs and humans didn’t co-exist.

            Why the hedge? Because he is in a party of creationists. According to a June Gallup report, most Republicans (58 percent) believed that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Most Democrats and independents did not agree.”

            Why say creationsim doesn’t need to enter into this non-debate and then post an article that basically is all about wacko creationists who infest the Republican Party?

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  19th November 2019

              Because the topic can be debated on scientific terms without it being a creationist debate. I thought you were insinuating there was no debate around this issue. What I posted was just an example of that debate, even though in this case creationism comes into the equation.

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              You need to post a better link than that one to support that claim.

            • Gezza

               /  19th November 2019

              I would note that some creationists are able to make a very convincing-sounding argument based on geological evidence for The Flood that would conceivably persuade some who haven’t looked into the multi-disciplinary evidence that rebuts it.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  19th November 2019

            I can’t remember when Ussher (the Ussher fallacy) was around, except that it was several centuries earlier than I thought. He was the one (a bishop?) who maintained that Earth was only 6000+ years old; he (mis)calculated this from the Bible..

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th November 2019

              Archbishop. But he did say perpetrate the Ussher Fallacy; look it up if you don’t believe me.

  4. duperez

     /  19th November 2019

    No cause for panic! Many Americans believe Donald Trump is a genius! Is that bad? No. America is Great Again. 😊

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th November 2019

      30 kilometres – but I had to work it out on my phone’s calculator.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th November 2019

        3/4 of 40???

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th November 2019

          Yep. But I can hear a song & play it without reading music.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  19th November 2019

            I was able to work that one out and I am a very poor mathematician despite being the child of one of the authors of the New Maths textbooks.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  19th November 2019

            I got all 7 continents right. I counted North & South America separately.

            In fact I got them all right – but I guessed the Native Land Court one & I used my phone’s calculator to get the car distance correct. Making good use of an available resource. I know not to trust my mental arithmetic beyond simple precentages, addition, multplication division & subtraction. I’ve never needed to use much maths in my career, but boy am I always grateful for the times tables. They got well-locked in.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th November 2019

              6 7s are 42, 7 7s are 49, 8 7s are 56, 9 7s are 63….,

  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  19th November 2019

    One needs to read the article; with some of the questions, the number who got it right was 96%.

    Reply

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