John Williams and Ben Wooliscroft from the department of Marketing at the University of Otago have kindly accepted the task of conducting an independent survey of the people of Dunedin, re their views for and against the stadium.
At this stage the survey is in it’s draft form (thankfully) and they are asking for input from interested groups. I have made a detailed submission to them over the survey in it’s current form. To their credit they have acknowledged my concerns and have advised that comments such as mine will be soon on the web site for public discussion.
In it’s current form, I would suggest that this is anything less than an unbiased survey. There is no way that a survey with leading questions devoid of neutrality would be worth taking note of.
Some of my concerns are with the following statement:
In other words the total cost for each ratepayer is expected to be at least $1,000(?). Non- ratepayers are likely to pay indirectly in various ways, for example by way of reduction in
household disposable income.
This statement is too much of a generalisation, as ratepayer contribution will be according to rating of the property or business, not per ratepayer. However it’s the second part of that statement which is deeply troubling. This is biased. It’s pure conjecture and there is no evidence what so ever that this will be the case let alone might be the case.
However, as I said, they have acknowledged my concerns, and have gone out of their way to encourage all participants to be involved, so I encourage you to send them your views and suggestions. The more input the better the outcome will be.
Just a word on surveys in general. This of course will not be binding on the ORC or DCC, thankfully, and again like all surveys, they are a snap shot of that exact moment in time. There may be information out the very next day that could sway someone radically in either direction. Also might is not always right. Who knows the StS may be correct in their concern and the stadium is a complete folly, or it could be that the CST has done their homework and they are bang on with their costings and projections. But might is not always right. Some time back the country was overwhelmingly in favour of retaining state discrimination against homosexual and lesbian people. When the Homosexual Law Reform Bill came before Parliament, the majority of people opposed it, there were 800,000 signatures collected and present to Parliament (including Mickey Mouse’s?) urging the bill not to go through. And sometime the role of the elected officials is not to listen to the people, this is why they are elected to lead. Just a word of caution about putting weight one way or the other on the outcome of the survey.