Choosing a pig-like mayor?

Chinese born former Labour MP Raymond Huo (2008-2014) tweeted:


Is this real? “Not afraid of divine opponents but a mayor like a pig. Choose wisely…” (Not a verbatim translation)


Keith Ng picked up on this and did some further translating.

Keith Ng Retweeted Raymond Huo

More verbatim translation: “Not afraid of a god-like opponent, most afraid of choosing a pig-like mayor make a smart choice; vote mayor, vote John Palino”

There’s not really any room for misinterpretation on the “god-like opponent” or “pig-like mayor”.

I don’t see how you can accidentally mistranslate something into god-like or pig-like.

I suspect he has a Chinese copywriter with very weird ideas, or a fairly weird sense of humour.

Weird for sure.

Prentice: “completely and utterly wrong on the data”

Well, maybe not completely and utterly wrong but he’s a way of the mark. Perhaps he should go to Uni and do Data 101.

Lynn Prentice has damned Keith Ng’s analysis of Labour’s house sale data.

And Keith Ng is completely and utterly wrong on the data. You couldn’t get better data.

You could get much better data. Barfoot and Thompson could gather details of the ethnicity of each property buyer so they would have accurate data that didn’t rely on

The point was that it is the BEST data that is currently available because it is the only data that indicates where the money for residential properties is coming from. Therefore there is no better data.

The data doesn’t do that at all. It does indicate the probable ethnicity of about 40% of the buyers. But it indicates zero percent where the money came from.

The only other statistical data around just shows that the money for the higher total values of property sales isn’t coming from banks. It could be coming from socks as far as we can currently tell.

They could be cash buyers, Lenders may not be banks. But the data shows nothing about where the buyers came from, or where the money came from.

Keith Ng is talking crap – unless he can show a source of data that allows a similar type of analysis about money sources for purchasing residential properties.

It’s not for Ng to provide data that Labour and Prentice lack. He pointed out sever deficiencies in the claims made by Labour. He could do the same about Prentice’s assertions if he could be bothered.

At the earliest that won’t apparently happen until October, which will probably be catastrophic for our economy. By the sounds of Nationals posturing any data and analysis from that will not be public.

And that’s just posturing, based on what data? None.

Prentice is close to being completely and utterly wrong on the data.

UPDATE: And Prentice goes into more depth:

The next stage is to look for causation for high probability correlations.

Labour have pointed out the obvious causation for the huge difference between the percentages of family name segments of the population as a whole and those buying houses during this period. That is what you an many others appear to be having an issue with.

That’s one of the two big mistakes Labour made. “The obvious causation” seems to be a story Labour wanted to tell but seems to have been at best uninformed assumption. And it appears as if it is inaccurate as a number of people have pointed out (and I’l be posting another example tomorrow night).

So far I haven’t seen any alternate explanations that make any sense apart from imported overseas investment money. The money isn’t getting borrowed from local banks. It appears to be large enough to drive the kinds of crazy 25+% per annum house price increases that we have seen since 2011.

He hasn’t looked very far then, or doesn’t want to see anything else. See Chinese locals snap up 23 sections within minutes and  Who’s buying Auckland property?

What it seems to identify compared to previous economic research as recent as 2013 is that we are rapidly hitting the point where Auckland house prices are largely caused by overseas investment money buying property from other overseas investors.

It identifies nothing of the sort. Two politicians and a blogger claiming it’s so based on no evidence doesn’t make it so.

At about 40% it is freaking high, but even worse is that it appears to be rising rapidly.

Appears to be rising rapidly? The data doesn’t say that, it is only from one real estate company from three months.

That it has nothing to do with the real economic value of the land or properties themselves to our economy. That means that it will therefore almost certainly cause a nasty economic crash that will reverberate throughout the rest of NZ. Bearing in mind our current fragile economic state, that is something worth actually worrying about, and one that bears considerable real-world consequences.

You notice that what Labour actually asked for was to get some immediate data collection and analysis going on in the area of foreign investment in property? Seems rather mild compared to what I think is actually needed.

The Government has already organised better data collection, starting in October.

Probably because we have people worrying about how statistics data is collected and analysed for reasons that seem to owe more to the thoughts of Lysenko than anything vaguely rational.

Just looks like a whole pile of avoidance behaviour to me. Probably with the kinds of downstream consequences of that exercise of group thinking.

You couldn’t call Prentice’s thoughts ‘group thinking’, unless Twyford, Little and Prentice make up a group.

NOTE: Prentice appears to be in a small minority at The Standard who are prepared to defend what Labour have done and especially how they have done it. There has bee a lot of reasoned condemnation there.

Ng’s response to Salmond

In response Rob Salmond’s  A week on from the housing controversy where he tries to defend his and Phil Twyford’s use of property sales data and also refers to people who have bee very critical.

After I published Labour’s method online, Keith Ng, Tze Ming Mok, and Chuan-Zheng Lee – all skilled analysts, all otherwise critical on this topic – all agreed the name-based ethnicity analysis was statistically sound, robust, and accurate.


Having said that, one group I think did not overreact – despite their strongly critical stance – was the New Zealand Chinese community, including Keith, Tze Ming, and Chuan-Zheng. Their criticism was less about Labour’s intentions, and more about the impact of these revelations on ethnically Chinese New Zealanders.

Ng reacted angrily on Twitter:

New post: has been making shit up about what we’ve been saying about and his analysis.

Hey , which part of “cynical, reckless dogwhistling” made you think I was okay with ‘s intentions?

Hey , who should I talk to about getting a correction in the next issue? ‘s column grossly misrepresented what..

Salmond responded:

I will happily defend my column in the event of said formal complaints.

 Ng retorted:

Really? You think you can justify claiming that me, and “all agreed the name-based ethnicity analysis was statistically sound, robust, and accurate”?

Name-based ethnicity analysis was statistically sound, robust, and accurate”? Cos I’m bloody sure I didn’t, and that you can’t “honest opinion” that shit.

And he re-pointed to his Public address column in response – Don’t put words in our mouths, Rob where he details his disagreement, including:

Hey Rob, don’t put the words “statistically sound, robust, and accurate” into our mouths to describe your work.

If you need clarification, let me restate it: The method is fine, the data is broken, and those problems render it unscientific and utterly useless. Not sound. Not robust. Not accurate.

I was very critical of Labour intentions and I thought I was bloody clear about it.

I said that Phil Twyford was knowingly “straight-up scapegoating” Chinese New Zealanders and offshore Chinese alike and “fueling racial division in this country”. I said it was “cynical, reckless dogwhistling”.

What part of this was ambiguous for you??? Did you think I meant “cynical, reckless, but ultimately well-intentioned dogwhistling”?

Even after a week where Labour has been trying to take the “reverse racism” highground, trying to pretend that we didn’t blame Labour is a new delusional high, Rob.

That’s fairly clear.  Even Rob should get the hint from that.

Ng went on the re-explain his thoughts on Labour’s use of the data.

 they claim their intention was to talk about offshoreness, but what they knew about offshoreness only came from “informed speculation” secondary to the main analysis about ethnicity.

And what did Rob concluded from this “informed speculation”?

My conclusion: if my prior for “is there large-scale offshore $?” were X, my posterior post these data is >X

It’s a wanky way of saying: After seeing the Chinese-sounding names evidence, he is more confident that “there is large-scale offshore Chinese buying in Auckland” than he was before. How confident was he before? And how much more confident has he become?

No, I won’t quantify it, because that would be introducing false precision to qualitative reasoning.

But here’s the problem. He is literally saying his level of certainty isunknown + unknown. Which equals, of course: unknown.

This is the statistical basis on which Twyford is out there using words like “implausible” and “very unlikely”.

Ng concludes:

That is to say, Rob believe it’s okay to use evidence which supports a claim in political debate, explicitly regardless of how weak it is. According to Rob, any shred of evidence is okay in a political debate, because that’s how political debates work.

Please do not mistake me for thinking that this is well-intentioned. This is a cynical attempt to bamboozle the media and the public by hiding your utter lack of evidence behind fancy jargon. It’s a travesty and a sad excuse for analysis. You ought to be ashamed, Rob.

Also, Sunday-Star Times: These claims Rob made about me are incorrect and defamatory. Please issue an correction in your next issue.

The comments continue to be scathing. Another of those mentioned in Salmond’s column and post, Tze Mink Mok, joined in.

I am so fucking pissed off. Rob says of me, Keith and CZ, “Their criticism was less about Labour’s intentions”?? Either Rob was lying or he didn’t bother reading my column (possible): because THAT WAS MY MAIN CRITICISM. Jesus, my blog didn’t even MENTION the effects of any racist backlash on the Chinese community.

Rob’s latest column is just barefaced partisan hackery. I know Russell reposted it to encourage generate debate, but I’m embarrassed that it might be seen as an endorsement of Rob’s independence. Russell, I think that perhaps for Speaker posts it’s a good idea to include a line about the author’s political party affiliations and employment.

Seriously, this is just blatant damage control for the Labour party. Rob*lies* about the debate, and is entirely focused on framing critics of the Labour party as CRAZY and IRRATIONAL while carefully singling out three Chinese critics for praise in order to avoid accusations of racism. He’s shitting on any non-Chinese person who supported us. Because obviously, if you’re not Chinese and say exactly the same things that me and Keith said, and openly supported our positions, you must be completely irrational.

Keith, this is what happens when we fight them on the stats instead of on the solidarity. It goes “Ah yes, much respect to the Chinese who are good at stats [ignores substance of everything the Chinese people were saying because they know nobody understands stats so you can say whatever you want about what the Chinese people were saying about the stats] everybody else is CRAZY.”

And ‘Sue’ has a less emotional but no less pertinent point:

I’m so glad i don’t read sunday papers, but i’m so sad to see words twisted like that. I think what Rob Salmond and the labour party have failed to do is listen.

Listen to people who are hurt & ashamed by a party that at it’s roots is about people. They are so busy fighting to assert the rightness of what they are saying they didn’t notice they’ve exposed some seriously ingrained racism in this country. Why are they not sad & embarrassed and apologetic about the hurt and pain they are causing all the many different asian communities in NZ.

Why is that not the lead on Rob’s article, inside of an afterthought.

There’s no sign of Labour listening or learning from this yet. They keep digging the hole they have jumped into deeper. Salmond is shovelling shit.

Herald story on poll changes

Newspaper stories aren’t always like the used to be, fixed in print once the presses roll.

David Farrar pointed out in A Labour member complains:

First let’s deal with the headline of the story:

Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

The headline writer should be shot.

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

So 90% of the poll was before the release. So the headline is trying to manufacture a story.

However NZ Herald currently has this headline with the story:

Poll boost for Labour

By David Fisher, Claire Trevett

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

What Farrar probably doesn’t know is that the story has changed since the headline was written, and then the headline was changed.  I saw the original version, as did Keith Ng who pointed out:

Oi . I mathed it for you.

The data was released by Labour with substantial help by NZ Herald six days prior, not a week.

One of the article authors responded:

ha! I was so busy trying to find it in the fine print I didn’t look at the top bit!

Since then the headline and story have now been edited:


Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

However it us unclear how much of the poll was taken before Labour released it’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate agent data, which was a week ago.


Poll boost for Labour

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

Farrar must have copy pasted after the story was edited, but before the headline was edited.