Building our understanding by following the News

NZ Herald Digipoll
New Zealand Herald Digipolls are reported on heaps in their News, but are they valid?
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Polling terminology By Thomas Lumley
We’ve commented before on the annoying tendency of newspapers to claim that self-selected website polls actually mean something. The media usually refers to the results as coming from “an unscientific poll”, but a better term would be “a bogus poll”. In the interests of openness, democracy, and giving you something to do over summer, we are conducting a bogus poll ourselves, to find out which terminology is better.

SGI's Big Brain Computer Powers the Global Twitter Heartbeat
Quote from
Happy little tweeps external image election_sm.jpgBy Thomas Lumley
Via Stuff, Twitter heat maps composed by SGI, showing positive and negative sentiment on Twitter on particular topics.
This one is from the US election, and it shows the good and bad aspects of the heatmap. Since the information is in the colour scale, you don’t have the problem we saw earlier this week
On the other hand, you do have the problem that high population density regions are the ones that show up — giving a perhaps-misleading impression in this image that there was overwhelmingly more positive sentiment than negative about the US election results.

Check out lots more expert opinion at

Some great statistical graphs here

= Keeping up to date with Statistics in the News =
New Zealand Herald - Statistics NZ
  • Taranaki workers getting $100 more a week: Stats NZ Oct 9, 2017
    Taranaki workers earned at least $100 a week more than they did last year; the highest median wage growth in the country, according to new Statistics New Zealand data. The raw figures, which do not take into account tax or inflation,...
  • Statistics House to be demolished after Kaikoura quake Oct 9, 2017
    Wellington's earthquake-damaged Statistics House is to be demolished. Several buildings in Wellington were badly damaged in the November Kaikoura quake, but Statistics House was particularly serious, because three floors partly collapsed. A...
  • Stats NZ: New Zealand's Asian population could reach 1.4 million by 2038 Oct 2, 2017
    The Asian population in New Zealand is projected to grow from 540,000 to between 1.2 and 1.4 million in 2038. Projections by Statistics New Zealand, released today, show ethnic populations growing significantly across the country. Although...

================================================================================== - Infographics
  • Where every All Black was born (+interactive graphic) Jun 19, 2014
    The All Blacks continuing avoidance of Samoa in their travel plans might be New Zealand Rugby's most festering embarrassment, but what of the claim that the All Blacks have pillaged the islands for talent? The answer to that question...

================================================================================== - Education
  • Stuart Middleton: NEETs curse must be tackled, it harms all of us
    • Dr Stuart Middleton is specialist adviser to the chief executive at Manukau Institute of Technology. Those working in the tertiary education sector have known for some time that numbers of students in tertiary institutions...
  • Learning by cooking wins school award
    A school that teaches reading and maths by cooking has won the country's first "Young Gardener of the Year" awards. Haumoana School , on the Hawke's Bay coast east of Hastings, grows food in its own garden and cooks it every week.Teacher...
  • Cheapest university fees hit $6000 a year
    Student fees for the cheapest degrees at Auckland University will hit $6000 next year.The university council voted this afternoon to raise domestic student fees next year by 2 per cent, the maximum allowed by the Ministry of Education...
  • Kaitao Intermediate ensuring positive behaviour in pupils
    A Rotorua school principal believes schools nationwide need to adopt new ways of thinking to ensure they abide by the standards for physical restraint.Kaitao Intermediate's staff went through the Understanding Behaviour, Responding...
  • NZ Herald editorial: Push back toward on-job learning looks to be win-win
    A few weeks ago more than 100 companies, led by the ASB Bank, issued an open letter declaring tertiary qualifications are not required for a range of roles within their workplaces. Their stated aim was nothing less than to "change...

New Zealand Herald - Education Review Office
  • Statutory manager steps into Kelston Deaf Education Centre Jul 20, 2017
    A school that looks after about 1200 deaf students across the upper North Island has been placed under limited statutory management. Ministry of Education deputy secretary Katrina Casey said Christchurch-based human resources consultant...