Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence

surrender photo

Claytons: The drink you have when you’re not having a drink.

Three weeks ago NIWA released their Statement of Defence in response to the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s Statement of Claim regarding an Application for a Judicial Review. You have to be a lawyer (which I’m not) to see the ramifications and it’s taking a while to work through it, but these are my first reactions and I can’t hold them back any longer.

Most of this will upset NIWA’s supporters. If you’re a NIWA supporter, go find a buddy to hug before reading on. This will rock your world.

Because NIWA formally denies all responsibility for the national temperature record (NZTR).

Betrayal of supporters

Now that is surprising – shocking, really. Forget their defensive posturing since our paper criticising it last November – now they’ve given that up and say the NZTR isn’t their problem, they’re not responsible for maintaining it and apparently there’s no such thing as an “official” New Zealand Temperature Record anyway.

Will the MSM pick this up? I think they should, but I rather doubt they will.

If I was a long-term NIWA supporter, I’d be a bit miffed to hear this revelation. I’d think that NIWA had betrayed us. We’d been supporting them for months and months against scurrilous attacks on their reputation, arguing that they had good reasons for doing what they did, then they turn around and say the temperature graph is nothing to do with them!

NZCSC: “It’s faulty.” NIWA: “It’s not ours.”

How can this be the action of earnest, dedicated scientists — their answer to months of implied accusations of dishonest science? Having suffered, according to their supporters, attempts to smear their top scientists, how can NIWA respond by saying they don’t want to be held responsible?

They’re not defending the temperature record or the mistakes in it, they’re virtually saying: “You’re right, the dataset could be shonky, so we’re washing our hands of it.” Which gives us no confidence in the “science” they might have applied to it. What the hell’s going on? I actually hope their lawyers know a cunning trick to get them out of this, and it’s not what it seems. Because it’s my NIWA too!

But it gets worse.

NIWA has formally stated that, in their opinion, they are not required to use the best available information nor to apply the best scientific practices and techniques available at any given time. They don’t think that forms any part of their statutory obligation to pursue “excellence”.

And that little bombshell just does my head in. For how can they pursue excellence without using the best techniques?

NIWA denies there is any such thing as an “official” NZ Temperature Record, although they’re happy to create an acronym for it (NZTR). The famous “Seven-station series” (7SS) is completely unofficial and strictly for internal research purposes. Nobody else should rely on it.

It certainly looks like the NZ temperature record

So it doesn’t exist except as an acronym – and in the laboratory – and they aren’t obliged to look after it.

Wow (WOW).

If the 7SS – posted on their web site on a page headed “NZ temperature record” and looking for all the world like an official NZ temperature record – was unimpeachably correct, NIWA would be happy to claim it and to tenderly look after it. The only reason to wash their hands of it is because it’s crippled with faults – fatally flawed – just as we’ve been saying.

We were right all along.

Wow.

But if the 7SS is a dead duck, what will NIWA say in future if the Government or the Courts ask whether New Zealand has warmed or cooled over the last 100 years? Well, they are getting a new NZTR, and they expect the replacement one to be a bit more defensible. We’ll have to wait and see what it concludes about cooling or warming.

$70,000 to fix and we found it for nothing

Back in February, when the NZ Climate Science Coalition wrote to Chris Mace, the chairman of NIWA, pointing out a mass of shonky aspects of the 7SS, Mr Mace promised that it would be formally “reviewed”. Minister Wayne Mapp later told Parliament that the “review” would involve five or six scientists working for about six months on justifying the NIWA adjustments. He also said that NIWA was getting an additional vote of $70,000 in the 2010 budget to cover the expenses of the “review”.

That’s a lot of time and resources to fix a problem we quickly unearthed without funding.

It’s all quite a compliment to Jim Salinger, too. After all, he made up the 7SS adjustments when he was a student back in the 1970s – with no taxpayer grants nor team of scientists to help. In 1992, 20 years later, NIWA didn’t even check Jim’s calculations (lost in a computer schemozzle) or update the methodology before adopting the whole thing as a NIWA taonga.

They seem to be doing their homework this time. Their statement of defence discloses that the new NZTR is all ready to go, subject only to peer review by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). Before too long the 7SS will be history.

Victory without firing a shot! It’s great to be vindicated after the criticism we’ve copped, but what an anti-climax!

After the country has a well-founded temperature record, I wonder if anyone will remember to thank us?

78 Thoughts on “Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence

  1. Wow indeed.
    Well done everyone involved in holding NIWA to account and pursuing the facts. Hope this receives proper attention in the media. Where does it leave the court case ?

    • Thanks, Ron.
      The NZCSC’s application for judicial review is intact. I’m not sure of the next move, but I think it’s a case management conference; not scheduled yet. I will of course keep you in touch with developments.

  2. A big thank you from the silent majority.

    As for the Eco Nazis Your reputations are now on the line.

  3. Clarence on October 6, 2010 at 8:55 pm said:

    We already have an official temperature record. It consists of the average monthly temperatures at the seven long-standing stations, as originally measured by the NZ MetService and now recorded in the National Climate Database. This record shows no significant warming in New Zealand during the 20th century – the graph is a straight line.

    But, in the 1970s, along came a bright young student out to make a name for himself. Jim Salinger opined that the early part of the record (pre-WW2) should be adjusted downwards, so that the graph would have a sloping line. 20-odd years later, while trying to convince the politicians about global warming, it suited NIWA just fine to adopt all of Jim’s bold adjustments. In fact, Jim even did the adopting, as he now worked for NIWA.

    All went well for about 17 long years. The NZ politicians were convinced, and signed the Kyoto Protocol, and made stirring speeches and enacted an ETS. But then came Richard’s paper in 2009, and the facade started to crack. Now it has completely fallen apart.

    Despite all the sworn evidence and the official advice and the IPCC chapters, New Zealand has not experienced any detectable warming over the last 150 years!

    • That’s true. Thanks for following along so closely, Clarence. It’s comments like these that show people appreciate our work that keep us going through the long cold watches of the night.

  4. Some old clips with comments from Happer, Lindzen and Singer that seem appropriate here :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg-frkJBxm4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bEOB3x0dQ

  5. Australis on October 7, 2010 at 1:19 am said:

    Does this mean that the New Zealand temperature record (NZTR) will cease to reflect the attitudes and prejudices of NZ public servants – but will in future reflect the opinions and biases of Australian public servants instead?

    In both cases, their political masters and research grant funders have long been committed to the climatism faith.

    Is this progress? It could be …… IF the BOM people clearly explain their justification for each intervention, in sufficient detail for independent scientists to replicate their work. That would be a world first.

  6. Yet another Richard on October 7, 2010 at 1:40 am said:

    Am I correct in reading this “Statement of Defence” as a plea of “Guilty as charged”? Everything about it appears to be in contradiction of their statutory obligations. For an organisation that is purportedly “world class” (I hate that meaningless expression) to state in documents submitted to a court that they neither do what they are supposed to and anyway use any old methods to not do it seems suicidal. I can see Rodney having a field day in parliament over this.

  7. Robin Pittwood on October 7, 2010 at 7:32 am said:

    Richard,
    I’d like to comment on their statement to the effect saying that the data is only for their internal use – no one else should rely on it.

    How does that fit with NIWA’s general responsibility to us. They are the organisation we pay for as taxpayers to do this stuff? And what’s more, didn’t they submit their temperature data to IPCC to become part of the international data set – which is being relied on for international policy? That sounds like pretty important data to me.

  8. STEPHEN PARKERuk on October 7, 2010 at 8:07 am said:

    makes me proud of you.

  9. Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 9:13 am said:

    First, a big thank you to all involved for getting this issue to this stage.

    Then the reality check.

    As you say Richard T “What the hell’s going on?”

    I’d like to read the Statement of Defense when it comes available. I’m not a lawyer either but I have some law papers under my belt and have worked with Acts and Regulations enough to give it the element-by-element treatment.

    1. What is the appropriate legal term? Statutory duty’obligation/custody? If there is no specific Act and Regulation pertaining to the maintenance of a New Zealand Temperature Record and NIWA’s duties and custody of it, then NIWA is right (despicable but right – they found an out).

    Richard T, are you able to post an Update with the relevant Act and relevant Regulation clause? (apologies if this has already been posted, I have not kept up with the minutiae )

    2. The integrity of the now unofficial NZTR is still in question (NZCSET Case intact) so why is it still being displayed on the NIWA website? i.e. Given their flippant approach to this science, they could post any scribble up to justify their position.

    3. I have an uneasy feeling in regard to the “new” NZTR given BOM’s auditing.

    4. The same Statement of Defense will apply to the “new” NZTR, will it not?

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 10:38 am said:

      Afterthought.

      “3. I have an uneasy feeling in regard to the “new” NZTR given BOM’s auditing.”

      In the NIWA-BOM world in this case, the words “audit” and “adjust” are probably interchangeable and not because of their similar appearance.

      Also, could a lurking English technician please explain the Defence-Defense distinction, I’ve just noticed I’ve used “Defense” perhaps incorrectly.

      Is the document “Defence” and the content “Defense”?

      Or are they interchangeable too?

  10. Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 11:22 am said:

    Nuther affterthought.

    “Is the document “Defence” and the content “Defense”?”

    I realize that the word “Defense” may not exist or be American pollution or such like but the reason I am asking has a wider context and the semantics probably don’t matter.

    What we need to do is analyze the legal motives.

    i.e My understanding (until now) is that defense is a tactic and that NIWA’s lawyers are using the content of the Statement of Defence as a tactical maneuver, possibly even a bluff – their out.

    But NZCSET lawyers have to hold NIWA to their responsibility and ownership of the NZTR, whether by Act, Regulation or whatever other legal recourse is available.

    If they can’t, there’s THREE dead ducks: the old NZTR; the new NZTR; and. the NZCSET Statement of Claim.

  11. TG Watkins on October 7, 2010 at 11:52 am said:

    Amazing what a ‘court’ case produces. Well done to all those who support empirical data rather than ‘belief systems’.
    N.Z. has a long and proud history of ‘firsts’ even if your rugby team peaks in the wrong years (LOL).
    The prospect of a big legal action is looming in the US, the sooner the better, and that will surely throw the cat amongst the pigeons. Jim Hansen, John Holdren etc look out. (UK is stuffed, controlled by judges in thrall to the EU and a government in thrall to the Lib-Dims).
    This could be the first card to fall in the unsustainable house of AGW aka ACC aka ACD.
    Wales will win the World Cup beating France in the final in Christchurch.
    Regards from an ever hopeful Welsh oldie.

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm said:

      “Well done to all those who support empirical data rather than ‘belief systems’.”

      And empirical data rather than “computer experiments”.

  12. Is there peer-reviewed research that references this temperature record?
    Will there be corrigenda issued by the authors of these papers?

  13. Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm said:

    I’m getting wound up.

    The idiocy of this issue astounds me.

    First, how hard can it be to record an atmospheric, eye-level, representative sample, NZ temperature for posterity?

    Observe, record, file.

    Pharaohs tombs are yielding better records!

    Whether it’s electronic or paper data, where’s NIWA’s backup security?

    Second, I’ve worked in a materials testing laboratory, measuring weight to 9 decimal places of a gram, where the electronic scales are in a sealed enclosure in the middle of the room, all the windows and doors shut to prevent draughts (100 deg C ovens too) and waiting 5 minutes plus for the register to settle and when the test goes out of the prescribed envelope have been able to repeat the results to prove the test.

    It is not as though it”s Antarctic conditions (where NIWA must be doing temp measurement) and temp must be measured remotely to exclude body heat influence.

    Third, how hard can it be?

    NIWA – TAKE OWNERSHIP AND GET A GRIP!

    • Richard C –
      This is typical government dept behaviour. No accountability whatsoever.

      Richard T – does Anthony Watts know about this yet?

    • Just noticed Huub’s comments on WUWT, so I guess Anthony is onto this

    • Would you have a link to them, please, Andy?

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm said:

      Andy, it’s not typical.

      I’ve worked in govt, local authority and private enterprise, all bound and accountable by regulatory framework and in the environment of potential human endangerment and actual death in the energy sector.

      Working to regs is the normal course of events and the appropriate responsibility is taken. Most employers/ees take their duties very seriously in that framework (not all, some prefer fines to vigilance) and reading accident investigation reports is sobering (that could have been me).

      But long-term temperature recording must be one of less onerous forms of human occupation. They’re not u/g coal mining or forest felling or standing 10 hours at a rendering chain in a meat abattoir – all of which are very dangerous.

      NIWA have lost perspective of the people they represent and in this case, the discretionary work they are undertaking (or should that be abusing?) at taxpayers expense.

      If it came to the crunch and Greek style austerity measures were necessary in NZ, the expense of the NZTR work (and a whole lot of other govt science work) could be avoided and no-one would be harmed as a result (do your own temp recording) and I suspect that society as whole would be no worse off either, possibly better off. It’s causing inordinate overload in it’s present disarray.

      Given this development and NIWA’s attitude, it now seems that the “new” NZTR will require the same (unnecessary) NZCSC policing as the “old”.

    • Andy,

      Wow! I’ve been out since early this morning and come back to tremendous interest. I never imagined it! I have to post the statements of claim and defence so people can comment on them. I’d appreciate it if you drop Anthony a line, please. Thanks.

    • val majkus on October 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm said:

      Richard I’m an Australian with a legal background; The data is still produced on NIWA’S website via CliFlo described as the web system that provides access to New Zealand’s National Climate Database
      Here are the CliFlo terms and conditions http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz/ – note particularly no 3 … The Recipient agrees and acknowledges that it is solely responsible for its own assessment and evaluation of the Data
      TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ACCESS TO DATA
      The End-User Licence Agreement (“EULA”) is a legal agreement between you (the “Recipient”) and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (“NIWA”) for any data, information, or other intellectual property you obtain from NIWA, whether directly or indirectly (the “Data”). Data is licensed by NIWA to you for use only on the terms set out below. Please read this EULA carefully. By downloading or using the Data or making or using any copy of the Data, you agree, and are deemed, to be bound by the terms of the EULA.
      GRANT OF LICENCE:
      1. NIWA grants to the Recipient a two (2) year non-exclusive, non-transferable licence to the Data, upon the terms of this Agreement.
      TERMS OF THE LICENCE:
      2. The Recipient acknowledges and agrees that:
      2.1 the Data shall only be used for lawful purposes, and shall not be used for any purpose(s) that NIWA may from time to time exclude;
      2.2 all proprietary rights (including all intellectual property rights) in, or associated with the Data are, and shall remain, vested solely in NIWA (or any other relevant third party who has contributed data for which NIWA acts as custodian). The licence to use the Data contained within this EULA does not give the Recipient any right to, or interest in, the Data other than the limited licence contained within this EULA;
      2.3 it will ensure that any party to whom it discloses the Data is aware of the Recipient’s obligations, and agrees to be bound by terms equivalent to those in this Agreement; and
      2.4 it shall not use the Data to host all, or part(s), of any database via a non-NIWA website unless the Recipient receives NIWA’s express written permission (through the General Manager of Environmental Information).
      3. NIWA does not make, and the Recipient acknowledges that NIWA has not made, any representation or warranty (express or implied) as to:
      (i) the accuracy or completeness of the Data;
      (ii) the use to which Data may be put; or
      (iii) the results or outcomes which may be obtained from using the Data.
      The Recipient agrees and acknowledges that it is solely responsible for its own assessment and evaluation of the Data.
      4. NIWA accepts no liability for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) incurred by any person through the use of or reliance on the Data. The Recipient agrees it shall indemnify, and hold NIWA harmless, from and against all damage, loss, claims, cost or expense (including legal fees on a solicitor client basis) in connection with, or resulting from, the Recipient’s access to, or use of, the Data.
      5. The relevant NIWA database or archive is to be appropriately acknowledged in publications (relating to the Data) produced by the Recipient, or any third party to whom the Recipient discloses the Data.
      6. NIWA reserves the right to recover any costs for staff time associated with the extraction of Data, where the request requires the use of non-automated means of provision.
      7. NIWA may terminate this EULA:
      (i) at any time upon 30 days written notice; or
      (ii) immediately if the Recipient breaches any of the terms of this EULA.
      The Recipient shall deliver up to NIWA or destroy on oath, within seven (7) days of termination or expiration of this EULA any copies of the Data (in any form) within the Recipient’s power, possession or control.
      8. This Agreement inures to the benefit of, and binds, any successor in title of a party, including a third party to whom a party’s rights and obligations are assigned.
      9. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of New Zealand and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of New Zealand

      I’ll keep an eye out for the Statement of Claim and Defence
      In the meantime is NIWA a Govt instrumentality and what legislation was it formed under do you know?

    • Val majkus, true enough. Bear in mind though that the EULA refers to the raw, unadjusted data. The issue is not with this, but rather with the adjusted data prominently displayed on NIWA’s site, that differs from the raw data, and is labelled “NZ Temperature Record”.

      When the original challenge was made, even the 11-station series didn’t exist, and the 7SS was the only graph displayed. No indication was given that adjustments had been made, or that it was the adjustments that were mainly responsible for the quoted trend. The impression was given that the 7SS was a simple average of long-term, reliable station records across NZ. It was presented as a NIWA graph in every way. It appeared on various government and educational documents related to climate change.

      It is the graph that is subject to the court proceedings, not the CliFlo data.

      Regarding the formation of NIWA, that’s an interesting question.

    • You make some good points, Val. And I echo what Bob D says.

      Personally, I’m absolutely underwhelmed by their defensive posture behind those “Terms and conditions”, at least so far as accuracy goes. No doubt they must limit the public exposure to risk regarding many of those terms, but overall they read as though they don’t want anyone looking at their data.

      I’m waiting for a reply from our lawyer before posting the two Statements I wrote about; it’s only fair to let people read them, I think! But I’m not 100% sure whether they are already public docs by being lodged with the High Court. The last thing I need is to perturb a judge!

    • “But I’m not 100% sure whether they are already public docs by being lodged with the High Court. The last thing I need is to perturb a judge!”

      Might not the judge be perturbed that you are “describing” a document in detail, without reference or linking, that you have no right to possess?

      Or are you just trying to hide the facts from your readers?

      Either way it doesn’t look good. Either you are hiding something or you have violated somebody’s confidence and the normal court processes.

    • Ken,

      What leads you to say I have no right to possess a document you haven’t seen?

    • Your own comment – you clearly are concerned about the legal consequences. Or else want to hide the facts.

    • Oh. OK, to be more precise with that: as I’m a party to the application I’m entitled to see the two Statements – of Claim and Defence – and to talk about them (the above post was cleared through the legal team, so I’m not concerned about that). But I’m no lawyer and I’m unsure that the two documents themselves are in the public domain, so I’m checking before I make them available.

      If I were trying to hide the facts, I wouldn’t write an article about them.

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm said:

      2.2 all proprietary rights (including all intellectual property rights) in, or associated with the Data are, and shall remain, vested solely in NIWA (or any other relevant third party who has contributed data for which NIWA acts as custodian). The licence to use the Data contained within this EULA does not give the Recipient any right to, or interest in, the Data other than the limited licence contained within this EULA;

      “data for which NIWA acts as custodian”

      NIWA is also custodian of the adjusted NZTR, are they not? It’s in their possession, didn’t they inherit it from a previous authority?

      What are the legal responsibilities of a custodian?

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm said:

      NIWA might have inherited custody of the adjusted NZTR from the assets of the Meteorological Service of the Ministry of Transport. They definitely inherited the personnel.

      A brief history of NIWA

      1992: Crown Research Institutes Act passed and NIWA created as part of a government initiative to restructure the science sector. NIWA personnel largely came from the break-up of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and the Meteorological Service of the Ministry of Transport.

      http://www.niwa.co.nz/about-niwa/our-company

      So they either have ownership of the adjusted NZTR as a result of a transfer of assets,

      or they are a custodian of it on behalf of NZ citizens (the ownership of it is vested in the govt and citizens of NZ).

      Either way, they’re stuffed.

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm said:

      They are both owner via heritage asset transfer and custodian via Public Records Act 2005

    • I don’t know, but NIWA is certainly subject to the Public Records Act. It features prominently in both Statements.

      Their use of “custodian” gives the impression they do not own anything.

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm said:

      If it’s an asset, it will appear on the Statement of Financial Position – Financial Report

      http://www.niwa.co.nz/about-niwa/annual-reports

      Highly unlikely but I’ll have a look. If it’s not an asset then they are a custodian subject to the Public Records Act administered by the Chief Archivist

      Public Records Act 2005
      http://www.archives.govt.nz/advice/public-records-act-2005

      Organisations Covered
      Crown Research Institutes

      * AgResearch Limited
      * Industrial Research Limited
      * Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited
      * Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited
      * Landcare Research New Zealand Limited
      * National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited
      * New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited
      * Plant and Food Research

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm said:

      From NIWA’s (5 Mb) Annual Report page 46 (346 pdf)

      16. Heritage assets

      NIWA has one collection and three databases that have been defined as heritage assets. Heritage collection assets are those assets held for the duration of their physical
      lives because of their unique scientific importance and databases are maintained as an incidental part of existing business operations.

      NIWA has the following heritage assets:

      Type Description
      Marine Benthic Biology Collection
      A national reference collection of marine invertebrates.

      National Climate Database
      A national electronic database of high quality climate information, including temperatures, rainfall, wind, and other climate elements.

      Water Resources Archive Database
      A national electronic database of river and lake locations throughout New Zealand, including levels, quality, and flows.

      New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database
      A national electronic database of the occurrence of fish in the fresh waters of New Zealand,
      including major offshore islands.

      The nature of these heritage assets, and their significance to the science NIWA undertakes, makes it necessary to disclose them. In the directors’ view the cost of these
      heritage assets cannot be assessed with any reliability, and accordingly these assets have not been recognised for reporting purposes

      So both NZTR and CliFlo are heritage assets of NIWA – and the Crown owns NIWA

    • Richard C, you’ve turned up a tremendous amount of information in a short time, well done.

      It appears to a layman that NIWA owns a “heritage asset” without being responsible for it. But what a clever ploy, to turn the national temperature record into a “heritage”. Is it a clever ploy? It’s so hard to know anything. All the names have been changed. NIWA is a CRI, records are assets, databases are a heritage.

      Crazy.

      I hope the lawyer gets back to me soon, then perhaps you can all read what I’ve been talking about and form your own opinions.

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm said:

      Oh it’s responsible for it.

      See the excerpts from the Public Records Act 2005 below.

      Especially the Offences and Penalties

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm said:

      From

      Public Records Act 2005 No 40 (as at 07 July 2010), Public Act

      public office—
      (a) means the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Government of New Zealand; and
      (b) means the agencies or instruments of those branches of government; and
      (c) includes (without limiting the agencies or instruments)—
      (i) departments as defined in section 2 of the State Sector Act 1988; and
      (ii) Offices of Parliament as defined in section 2(1) of the Public Finance Act 1989; and
      (iii) State enterprises as defined in section 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986; and
      (iv) Crown entities as defined in section 7(1) of the Crown Entities Act 2004; and

      1 Functions and duties of Chief Archivist
      The functions of the Chief Archivist, in achieving the purposes of this Act, are—
      (a) to exercise a leadership role in recordkeeping in public offices and in the management of public archives in New Zealand; and
      (b) in relation to public records,—
      (i) to authorise the disposal of public records; and
      (ii) to issue standards in accordance with section 27; and
      (iii) to review, amend, or revoke those standards; and
      (iv) to issue instructions in accordance with this Act; and
      (v) to provide advice, or to issue guidelines, on the procedures or best practice for the creation, maintenance, or efficient management of public records and to review, amend, or revoke the advice or guidelines; and
      (vi) to monitor and report on the compliance of public offices with this Act; and
      (vii) to provide protocols and processes for deferring the transfer of public records under section 22; and
      (viii) to issue criteria for the independent auditing of public offices under section 33 and to review, amend, or revoke the criteria; and…………………….[snip]

      7 Requirement to create and maintain records
      (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.
      (2) Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act………………..[snip]

      8 Application and content of standards
      Standards issued by the Chief Archivist may include (without limitation) all or any of the following matters:
      (a) the particular public record or particular local authority record to which they apply:
      (b) the procedures or practices that must be followed, or outcomes that must be achieved, in relation to the creation, maintenance, or management of public records or local authority records:
      (c) a standard against which the quality of recordkeeping practice may be judged:
      (d) the minimum standard of recordkeeping practice that will be allowed.

      61 Offences
      Every person commits an offence who wilfully or negligently—
      (a) damages a public record; or
      (b) disposes of or destroys a public record otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act; or
      (c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.

      2 Penalties
      (1) Every person who commits an offence against section 61 is liable,—
      (a) in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $5,000:
      (b) in every other case, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.

      (2) A person convicted of an offence against section 61 may, in addition to any penalty imposed for the offence, be prohibited by order of the court from having access to Archives New Zealand for any period that the court thinks fit.

      http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345796.html?search=ts_act_Public+Records+Act_resel&p=1#DLM345796

      Clear and simple, what’s the problem?

      Also begs the question: has the Chief Archivist been negligent in this case?

      A search for “public records” regulations in

      New Zealand Legislation: Regulations
      http://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/searchquick.aspx

      came up empty. Seems odd there’s no regs (easy Act to administer and work under)

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm said:

      Florida Law

      Subject: Records, duties of record custodian

      http://myfloridalegal.com/ago.nsf/Opinions/07D8C26128E8F2EB852571000051C253

      Thus, the Mintus court concluded that in order to have custody of a public record, one must have supervision and control over the document or have legal responsibility for its care, keeping, or guardianship. The court held that the “mere fact that an employee of a public agency temporarily possesses a document does not necessarily mean that the person has custody as defined by section 119.07.” 711 So. 2d at 1361.

      NZ Law

      The statutory role of the Chief Archivist in ensuring the accountability of government recordkeeping must be preserved, not only in legislation but in practice. The Chief Archivist’s independence is critical to fulfilling his/her statutory responsibilities:

      http://www.aranz.org.nz/Site/publications/position_papers/Archives_NZ_.aspx

    • Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm said:

      NIWA ownership

      http://www.niwa.co.nz/about-niwa/our-company

      Operating Framework

      CRIs are stand-alone companies with a high degree of independence. Each year, the shareholding Ministers lay out their expectations for the Crown Research Institutes in an ‘Operating Framework’. Amongst other things, this defines how CRIs should interpret their obligation to maintain financial viability. Shareholding Ministers assess NIWA’s performance and actions against the expectations in this Operating Framework. The agency responsible for monitoring NIWA’s performance is the Crown Company Monitoring and Advisory Unit, an independent unit within the New Zealand Treasury.

      What is a Crown Research Institute?

      Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) are Crown-owned companies established to undertake scientific research and related activities in accordance with the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992. The Shareholding Ministers are the Minister of Finance (50%), and the Minister of Research, Science & Technology (50%). CRIs are subject to the Crown Entities Act 2004, the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992, and the Companies Act 1993.

      Key requirements on CRIs include:

      * Carrying out research for the benefit of New Zealand
      * Pursuing excellence
      * Abiding by ethical standards
      * Recognising social responsibility
      * Operating as a good employer
      * Maintaining financial viability
      * Producing an Annual Report, which is tabled in Parliament

  14. reid simpson on October 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm said:

    From the great State of Texas, a huge THANK YOU!

  15. Richard,

    Great stuff!

    The truth will come out in the end, and with your efforts it may come out within our respective life times.

    Cheers

    Roger

  16. I’ve had a number of people send me a link to this story, but I have to tell you, I can’t make much sense of it. Thus, I can’t yet cover it on WUWT.

    Here’s what is missing.

    A clear statement in the form of link, a letter, publication etc that shows NIWA has washed their hands of it.

    You write “Three weeks ago NIWA released their Statement of Defence in response to the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s Statement of Claim regarding an Application for a Judicial Review.”

    Great, where?

    This blog entry is really badly written for someone outside the argumentative loop to pick up and use elsewhere.

    You need to write something new, with a timeline and links to references. Let me know when you do, Then I’ll be glad to cover it.

    Best regards

    Anthony Watts

    • Thanks for your comments, Anthony. I’ll be pleased to rewrite the story for an international audience, and I’ll let you know when it’s done. The legal documents will be posted shortly.

      Cheers,
      Richard.

    • val majkus on October 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm said:

      THE statement of claim and defence are now up on the NZCSC site http://www.climatescience.org.nz/
      I’ll be interested to hear views on the documents
      I haven’t had time to look at them yet but will later today

    • Mike Jowsey on November 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm said:

      Richard T – have you had time to rewrite the article along the lines suggested by Watts? If so, please link to it for me. Cheers, Mike

  17. Richard C on October 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm said:

    “NIWA formally denies all responsibility for the national temperature record (NZTR).”

    Are they effectively “discharging” or “disposing” of a public record?

    From Public Records Act 2005

    Interpretation
    In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

    [snip]

    discharged record means a record the status of which as a public record is cancelled in accordance with section 25

    disposal, in relation to a public record or local authority record, means—
    (a) the transfer of control of a record; or
    (b) the sale, alteration, destruction, or discharge of a record

    http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345537.html?search=ts_act_Public+Records+Act_resel&p=1#DLM345537

    If so, did NIWA get the Chief Archivist’s authorisation?

    Authority to dispose of public records
    (1) The Chief Archivist may authorise in writing, in accordance with the purposes of this Act, the disposal of a public record (other than those referred to in subsection (3)) by—
    (a) transferring control of the public record to another public office; or
    (b) transferring control of the public record to the Chief Archivist; or
    (c) altering or destroying the public record; or
    (d) selling the public record; or
    (e) discharging the public record.

    (2) Before authorising a disposal under subsection (1), the Chief Archivist must give not less than 30 days’ notice, in the manner the Chief Archivist considers appropriate, of—
    (a) the intention to dispose of the public record, with a general description of the public record concerned; and
    (b) the place where additional information may be obtained on the public record concerned and the person to whom any comments may be sent.

    [snip]

    http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345735.html?search=ts_act_Public+Records+Act_resel&p=1#DLM345735

    25 Discharge of public records
    (1) The Chief Archivist may authorise in writing the discharge of a public record only if—
    (a) the Chief Archivist considers that the public record is suitable to be discharged; and
    (b) the public record is an open access record that is not in current use; and
    (c) the release of the public record is consistent with the principles of the Privacy Act 1993; and
    (d) the public record is not subject to a request under the Official Information Act 1982; and
    (e) the administrative head of the controlling public office agrees to the public record being discharged; and
    (f) the person to whom the public record is to be discharged is not a Minister of the Crown, the Chief Archivist, an employee of Archives New Zealand, the Archives Council, a member of the Archives Council, or an employee of the controlling public office.

    [snip]

    (3) A public record that is discharged—
    (a) becomes the property of the person to whom it is discharged; and
    (b) ceases to have status as a public record or to be subject to this Act.

    (4) A public record discharged under this section must be noted in the discharge register, in accordance with section 19(1)(b).

    http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345743.html?search=ts_act_Public+Records+Act_resel&p=1#DLM345743

    I don’t think they did.

  18. val majkus on October 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm said:

    Richard here’s a summary taken from a google search
    \\\http://www.climatescience.org.nz/images/PDFs/niwa.ct.docs.pdf
    Taken from a google search

    APPENDIX 2 – SUMMARY OF CLAIM
    NIWA has statutory duties to undertake climate research efficiently and effectively
    for the benefit of NZ, pursuing excellence and observing ethical standards, while
    maintaining full and accurate records.
    The official NZ Temperature Record (NZTR), which is the historical base for most
    Government policy and judicial decisions relating to climate change, wholly relies
    upon a “Seven-station series” (7SS), adopted in 1999.
    The twentieth-century warming trend of 1.0°C shown in the 7SS is dependent on the
    use of “Adjustments” taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by J Salinger, a
    previous NIWA employee.
    NIWAʼs 1999 decision to rely on the Adjustments was a breach of duty as it did not:
    evaluate the thesis methodology or consider whether it needed updating
    discover that the supporting data and calculations had been lost
    undertake any check or peer review; or require consent from the copyright
    holder
    maintain any record of the decision
    NIWAʼs 1999 decision was based on the mistaken assumptions that the
    methodology:
    was in accord with current international best practice
    had been peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal
    could be replicated by applying the thesis to publicly available data
    could be supported by production of the Salinger thesis
    reflected an NZTR increase in 1944-60 shown by another Salinger paper
    was required to compensate for changes in the altitude of thermometers
    NIWAʼs 1999 decision failed to take account of the following relevant factors:
    the National Climate Database, compiled by the Met Service, shows no material
    warming
    meteorologists senior to Salinger did not consider that the data should be
    adjusted
    the warming trend is wholly reliant on the subjective and untested Salinger
    thesis
    an implausible 9 out of 10 of the Adjustments favour an upward trend
    NZ was warmer in 1867, and during 1863-1919, than it is now
    the thesis showed inexplicable and unprecedented warming of 1.42°C during
    1944-57
    the 7SS warming trend is much greater than the global average
    the data was lost and the Adjustments could be neither documented or
    replicated
    NIWAʼs 1999 decision was influenced by the expectation that major NZTR warming
    would encourage funding for additional climate change research.
    NIWA failed to observe ethical standards in delegating the 1999 NZTR decision to
    Salinger, who was in no position to assess the matter objectively.
    Whilst conceding that the 7SS-based NZTR requires review, NIWA has refused in
    2010 to suspend it, or stop using it. It relies on an “Eleven-station series” (11SS) of
    unadjusted data produced in December 2009.
    The 2010 refusal involved a breach of ethical standards in:
    delegating to Salinger the authority to select the stations and time periods of the
    11SS, when it knew that he was likely to be biased in favour of corroborating the 7SS
    allowing the 1931-55 period to masquerade as part of the 11SS, whilst knowing
    the requisite data was missing, and the series was unreliable
    falsely claiming that Salingerʼs “shipʼs paper” supported the 7SS
    continuing to promote a NZTR that NIWA knew to be seriously flawed
    The 2010 decision was unreasonable and illegal, and made without:
    assessing the arguments put forward by critics of the 7SS and the 11SS
    checking or peer reviewing or documenting the statistical methodology of the
    11SS
    ensuring that the selection of inputs was free from bias
    weighing the risks and benefits to NZ of continuing to rely upon a flawed NZTR
    The 2010 decision ignored the following relevant factors:
    the 11SS disclosed no warming from 11 stations, and the claimed warming
    arose only when data was unavailable from most of its stations
    the known flaws in the 7SS; and the fact that it had not been followed by other
    compilers of temperature databases
    The 2010 decision was influenced by the following improper considerations:
    repudiation of the NZTR might prove politically embarrassing or reduce
    confidence in the integrity and objectivity of NIWA scientists
    a planned project to review the NZTR might possibly confirm the 7SS warming
    trend
    Therefore, the NZ Climate Science Trust seeks declarations and orders to:
    A. set aside NIWAʼs decisions to rely upon the 7SS and 11SS, and finding the current
    NZTR to be invalid
    B. prevent NIWA from using the current NZTR (or information originally derived from
    it) for the purpose of advice to any governmental authority or to the public
    C. require NIWA to produce a full and accurate NZTR

    Look forward to the legal douments

  19. val majkus on October 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm said:

    I’ve sent an e mail to NZCSA asking for both documents so I’ll let you know if I’m successful

  20. val majkus on October 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm said:

    Richard; here’s a copy of what I think is the Statement of Claim
    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2010/08/our-statement-of-claim-against-niwa/

    1. NIWA has statutory duties to undertake climate research efficiently and effectively for the benefit of NZ, pursuing excellence and observing ethical standards, while maintaining full and accurate records.

    2. The official NZ Temperature Record (NZTR), which is the historical base for most Government policy and judicial decisions relating to climate change, wholly relies upon a “Seven-station series” (7SS), adopted in 1999.

    3. The twentieth-century warming trend of 1.0°C shown in the 7SS is dependent on the use of “Adjustments” taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by J Salinger, a previous NIWA employee.

    4. NIWA’s 1999 decision to rely on the Adjustments was a breach of duty as it did not:

    • evaluate the thesis methodology or consider whether it needed updating
    • discover that the supporting data and calculations had been lost
    • undertake any check or peer review or require consent from the copyright holder
    • maintain any record of the decision
    5. NIWA’s 1999 decision was based on the mistaken assumptions that the methodology:

    • was in accord with current international best practice
    • had been peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal
    • could be replicated by applying the thesis to publicly available data
    • could be supported by production of the Salinger thesis
    • reflected an NZTR increase in 1944-60 shown by another Salinger paper
    • was required to compensate for changes in the altitude of thermometers

    6. NIWA’s 1999 decision failed to take account of the following relevant factors:

    • the National Climate Database, compiled by the Met Service, shows no material warming
    • meteorologists senior to Salinger did not consider that the data should be adjusted
    • the warming trend is wholly reliant on the subjective and untested Salinger thesis
    • an implausible 9 out of 10 of the Adjustments favour an upward trend
    • NZ was warmer in 1867, and during 1863-1919, than it is now
    • the thesis showed inexplicable and unprecedented warming of 1.42°C during 1944-57
    • the 7SS warming trend is much greater than the global average
    • the data was lost and the Adjustments could be neither documented or replicated

    7. NIWA’s 1999 decision was influenced by the expectation that major NZTR warming would encourage funding for additional climate change research.

    8. NIWA failed to observe ethical standards in delegating the 1999 NZTR decision to Salinger, who was in no position to assess the matter objectively.

    9. Whilst conceding that the 7SS-based NZTR requires review, NIWA has refused in 2010 to suspend it, or stop using it. It relies on an “Eleven-station series” (11SS) of unadjusted data produced in December 2009.

    10. The 2010 refusal involved a breach of ethical standards in:

    • delegating to Salinger the authority to select the stations and time periods of the 11SS, when it knew that he was likely to be biased in favour of corroborating the 7SS
    • allowing the 1931-55 period to masquerade as part of the 11SS, whilst knowing the requisite data was missing, and the series was unreliable
    • falsely claiming that Salinger’s “ship’s paper” supported the 7SS
    • continuing to promote a NZTR that NIWA knew to be seriously flawed

    11. The 2010 decision was unreasonable and illegal, and made without:

    • assessing the arguments put forward by critics of the 7SS and the 11SS
    • checking or peer reviewing or documenting the statistical methodology of the 11SS
    • ensuring that the selection of inputs was free from bias
    • weighing the risks and benefits to NZ of continuing to rely upon a flawed NZTR

    12. The 2010 decision ignored the following relevant factors:

    • the 11SS disclosed no warming from 11 stations, and the claimed warming arose only when data was unavailable from most of its stations
    • the known flaws in the 7SS; and the fact that it had not been followed by other compilers of temperature databases

    13. The 2010 decision was influenced by the following improper considerations:

    • repudiation of the NZTR might prove politically embarrassing or reduce confidence in the integrity and objectivity of NIWA scientists
    • a planned project to review the NZTR might possibly confirm the 7SS warming trend

    Therefore, the NZ Climate Science Trust seeks declarations and orders to:

    A. set aside NIWA’s decisions to rely upon the 7SS and 11SS, and finding the current NZTR to be invalid.

    B. prevent NIWA from using the current NZTR (or information originally derived from it) for the purpose of advice to any governmental authority or to the public.

    C. require NIWA to produce a full and accurate NZTR.

    and I’m suspecting the Defence is simply a generalised defence to allegations including para 1 saying ‘denied’ which leaves it to the NZCSC to prove; on the statutory authority which I am certain exists but which have been stated for completeness in the Statement of Claim

  21. Cameron H on October 8, 2010 at 12:11 am said:

    I noticed in one of the comments that the Austrtalian BOM will peer review the new record. I would not crow about success yet if this is the case. The BOM’s approach to the temperature record also appears to ne shonky.

    • How very true! We expect to apply as close a scrutiny to the new record as we have learned to apply to the old one.

      However, “success” is getting NIWA to admit the old record was insecure and should be improved; they have done that.

  22. An interesting story. Looking forward to seeing the Statement of Defence.

  23. Doug Proctor on October 8, 2010 at 6:29 am said:

    The New Zealand data vs submitted/published accounting provides a very good opportunity to correct or at least legitimize the questioning of the global temperature record as portrayed. NZ, as a small country, has few stations. The review and release of the review should not take long, even if those doing it wish (or their masters wish) to drag it out. Of course NASA/Hansen will say that any modification of the NZ data is insignificant in that it is but a small portion of the global data – just as it/he did about the uncorrected/improperly corrected UHIE this year (?). In this case, though, it is the methodology of corrections that is under attack, again due to the small sample size and area.

    The legal challenge appears to be going the right way. Unlike for the U.S., the Commonwealth-style of law seems more open to challenger. Or perhaps it is because powers like Hansen, Schmidt and Gore do not exist as well outside of the U.S. In Canada, where I live and work, our closest to the HSG trio is Dr. David Suzuki with his environmental activist The David Suzuki Foundation. Despite various efforts I have made, the DSF will not stand should-to-shoulder with the data or conclusions or authors of the warming tribe, inclusing the IPCC. The DSF is vocal about skeptics being moral crimminals and “anti-environmentalists” (DS’s words), but what the Foundation supports is “peer-reviewed studies”. In other words, the wise authorities speak, and the DSF believes them as the WA are, after all, wise and recognized authorities. It is a weasel-way of avoiding responsibility for the accuracy or truth of your statements, but then Canadians are known for not wanting to offend anyone or claiming that they know better than others.

    Should this NIWA get legs as it should, Australia should be next to have its temperature products challenged, again from a logistical level. Canada would be a wonderful third choice, especially since only about 35 stations currently go into the Global NASA product while about 3500 are or have been available in some form or other. Statistically it can easily be imagined that you might only need 10% of the data to see the pattern, but as statisticians well know, the key is then on which 10% is appropriate to tell the tale. Inclusion of all the data available from my experience doesn’t always give a different story, but it brings up the nuances, exceptions and reliability of a simple story-line.
    The alarmist global warming storyline requires simplicity. The more variability in or exceptions from the simple plot we can show, the worse the proposed simple solution (or simple outcome by modelling) becomes. The Green movement in the CAGW case is like the U.S. Corps of Engineers trying to control the Mississippi River: humans battling the ways of nature thinking they are fighting only a bend in the river. Hard work and good intentions do not make up for false assumptions and misunderstood realities.
    Excellent work. Hope this is the start of a general challenge on the house-of-cards of CAGW.

  24. There is a thread started at Bishop Hill

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/10/7/victory-for-kiwi-sceptics.html

    Richard T – might be worth chipping in on the comments there. It might help clarify the story to the outside reader.

    • Richard C on October 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm said:

      Andy, I chipped in with a comment that will either clear up some confusion or rain coals of fire down on my head (or both).

      I did like this comment by golf charley:

      “So that nice Mr Jim Salinger spent time with CRU at UEA. Who corrupted who? It is not so much follow the money, as follow the slime.”

  25. Richard C on October 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm said:

    “I’m waiting for a reply from our lawyer before posting the two Statements I wrote about; it’s only fair to let people read them, I think! But I’m not 100% sure whether they are already public docs by being lodged with the High Court. The last thing I need is to perturb a judge!”

    Understandable caution.

    Remember though, that the NZ legal process is also under international scrutiny in this case.

    The NZCSET Statement of Claim is in the public domain so there is no reason that the Statement of Defence should not be.

    We (the people) need to see that the NZCSC lawyers are picking up the deficiencies in the defence.

  26. Wow all right… Great investigation by your team – into “non-official” yet “official” (huh?) NIWA temperature records… err.. previous data.. errr (government propaganda??). WHEN will the cookie crumble?!

    (remember to check your carbon exchange trading: buy low & sell high… the world is trading carbon credits, right?!.. gee whizzzers, do the NZ govt peeps have trading acounts?!!!)

    Oh, and MEANWHILE, the NZ “news” agents (or commisars?) at “NZ Herald” and the Waitakere city (won’t exist much longer) CONTINUE to print “man made” and “global warming” stories like they are FACT.

    Silly there are FACT out there, don’t read them… be good kiddies, New Zealand children… be gooooooood lil sheep! baaaa

  27. Pingback: Climate Conversation Group » Judicial Review documents now on line

  28. val majkus on October 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm said:

    OKAY what does everybody think? Richard I left you a reply before the link appeared about its appearance on the NIWA website; now what do you think

  29. val majkus on October 9, 2010 at 9:40 am said:

    Sorry Richard about the content of the Statement of Defence but before I get to that:
    In regard to the Australian temperature record Ken Stewart has done some great work; what he believes is the first ever independent check on the official climate record of Australia. It is also the first ever independent check on the official record of an entire continent.
    check out
    http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/the-australian-temperature-re cord-part-9-an-urban-myth/
    and check out the link to part 8,
    his conclusion:
    One thing we do know:- the High Quality data does NOT give an accurate record of urban Australian temperatures over the last 100 years. BOM’s reconstruction of the temperature record is at best a guess. High Quality is an urban myth.
    Conclusion

    This study shows a number of problems with the Australian High Quality Temperature Sites network, on which the official temperature analyses are based. Problems with the High Quality data include:

    » It has been subjectively and manually adjusted.
    » The methodology used is not uniformly followed, or else is not as described.
    » Urban sites, sites with poor comparative data, and sites with short records have been included.
    » Large quantities of data are not available, and have been filled in with estimates.
    » The adjustments are not equally positive and negative, and have produced a major impact on the Australian temperature record.
    » The adjustments produce a trend in mean temperatures that is roughly a quarter of a degree Celsius greater than the raw data does.
    » The warming bias in the temperature trend is over 40%, and in the anomaly trend is 50%.
    » The trend published by BOM is 66.67% greater than that of the raw data.
    I don’t know about NZ but I would have concerns that BOM is to peer review anything from NIWA

  30. Michael Cejnar on October 12, 2010 at 11:27 am said:

    Great work.
    NIWA threw a lot of vitriol at you and NZClimateScience. If they disown the record, (i) is there any opportunity for a defamation case against them, (ii) can you find every any/legislation which makes use of this data set and get a retraction.

    Unfortunately, no one will be responsible when this all falls apart. Scientists will correctly say they only published projections complete with uncertainties, politicians will say they only followed the scientists in good faith, environmental groups will say it was good for us anyway, and the profiteering business will say they just followed government policy.

  31. Pingback: Climate Conversation Group » Open threads as promised

  32. val majkus on October 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm said:

    I’ve been searching the net to see where Salinger got his PhD but no luck but there is this explanation in Crisis in New Zealand climatology by Barry Brill
    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/05/crisis-in-new-zealand-climatology

    Global warming during the 20th Century was 0.6C, with a margin of error of +/-0.2C. The Southern Hemisphere warming was less than half that level. But New Zealand warming, according to NIWA, was almost twice the global average – and with no error margins mentioned.

    Referring to the NIWA web page, one finds that this major warming trend is the product of a single study involving only 7 temperature stations – out of the 238 stations which currently report to NIWA. In response to a request under the Official information Act, NIWA has disclosed that this study was undertaken as part of a student’s thesis some 30 years ago.

    NIWA has no record of how the NSS came to be in their computers. The only reasonable inference is that the student himself, one Jim Salinger, must have added it when he became NIWA’s Principal Scientist many years later.

    Now I’ve found Richard’s article at this august site:

    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2010/04/niwa-disowns-salinger-thesis/

    Thesis available, but only in Wellington
    ACT MP John Boscawen asked a question in the Parliament of the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Dr Wayne Mapp:

    Can the minister confirm that Dr Salinger’s PhD thesis is still “publicly available”? If so, where, and how may it be obtained?

    A simple question, you might think, and so it is. Listen to the answer from Dr Mapp.
    I am advised that Dr Salinger’s PhD thesis is publicly available through the Victoria University Library. This thesis is in the Closed Reserve Collection at VUW Library. It can be accessed by the public.

    (Note that VUW means Victoria University of Wellington.) Though I don’t like the sound of the “Closed Reserve Collection”, it’s good news that he says the thesis is available to the general public. But listen to the conditions:

    To view the thesis, members of the public can visit the Closed Reserve Desk between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. On production of an ID, they can be issued a temporary visitors card and can check out the thesis for up to six hours. The thesis must be kept within the library.

    So you have to go to Wellington, you have to read and absorb hundreds of technical pages in only six hours and you can only copy a little bit of it. Presumably you get another six hours each day you stay in Wellington. It could cost a lot of money unless you have relatives in Wellington.

    and note Richard’s comment to that article (quoting in part) NIWA’s response to the NZCSC

    You asked about adjustments made to the seven station data series. Information regarding those adjustments is available from the following publicly available sources.” You will note he does not say “the adjustments are contained within” the sources. Then he cites

    · Salinger, M.J., 1981. New Zealand Climate: The instrumental record. Thesis
    submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Victoria University of
    Wellington, January 1981;
    · Rhoades, D.A., and Salinger, M.J., 1993: Adjustment of temperature and rainfall
    measurements for site changes. International Journal of Climatology, 13, 899 –
    913;

    I recommend this article for background material which is probably all in a thread somewhere on this site which I just haven’t found yet

  33. val majkus on October 31, 2010 at 10:58 am said:

    Here’s John O’Sullivan doing an interview after Climate Fools Day in the UK
    He mentions NIWA
    http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-10-27/climate-change-fools-sceptics.html

  34. Sandy McClintck on November 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm said:

    The appointment of BOM (Australia) as the auditor makes me cringe! I have looked at lots of aussie sites and seen the same downward biases as reported in your paper. When I pointed this out to BOM, I was told it would be un-scientific to ignore the station histories that led to the ‘adjustments’. Station Histories are not available it seems.
    I have looked at some of the Australian weather station records and see cases where cooling trends in raw data changed to upward trends in ‘adjusted’ data. here is a typical example:-
    http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/echuca-temperature.pdf

    When I look at isolated rural towns I see little or no evidence for warming in Australia. Big cities are a different story – strong warming. This write-up shows a small number of examples but I have found many more similar cases:-
    http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/mcclintock-country.pdf

    • Richard C (NZ) on November 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm said:

      “Big cities are a different story – strong warming”

      Any site influenced by UHI is a useless indicator of climate – they should be discarded.

      If, on the other hand, you are wanting to measure the effect of man-made heat sinks, they are indispensable.

    • val majkus on November 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm said:

      Sandy that’s fascinating; you didn’t do the average for daily minimums as well by any chance? If you check out the BOM discovers UHI article (on the right under the heading hot off the press) you’ll find a couple of other researchers examining temperature claims made by the BOM referring to their HQ data – links are in the comments

    • val majkus on November 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm said:

      Sandy John O’Sullivan and I wrote an article on a recent BOM u-turn – JUST Picking one site http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-retreat-from-global-warming-data-by.html
      Dr Marohassy was corageous enough to put the article on her blog
      Confirmation Bias at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (Part 2)
      at http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/
      there is a copy of the abstract of a recent media release referred to in that article and on WUWT and here on the BOM discovers UHI article
      There is a question by some researchers that BOM may have reduced historical data so as to make current data warmer
      do you have any comment on that

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