As reported in the ODT today, the two University Marketing lecturers who are planning to conduct a public survey of the proposed stadium have completed their draft of the survey.
I have commented on this previously and made submissions to them with concerns about the neutrality of the survey. They have sought input from all parties involved in the survey, and have responded to my comments in the past, much appreciated. As reported in the ODT “The pair hoped this would produce a survey that would not be subject to endless criticism after it was finished.”
The question is as follows:
The Costs of the Stadium: The DCC has committed $A million and the ORC has committed = $B million to fund the construction of the stadium. This means that someone who pays both DCC and ORC rates will pay an extra $C per year in rates for the next D years if the stadium
In other words the total cost for each ratepayer is expected to be at least $E. Non-ratepayers are likely to pay indirectly in various ways, for example by way of reduction in household disposable income.
The Beneﬁts of the Stadium: The Carisbrook Stadium Trust has commissioned research that estimates the economic beneﬁts to Dunedin of the stadium will be $F
This goes against the claims made by the two in a previous disclaimer on their site;
“It is not the job of the questionnaire to present information that can be interpreted as being either for or against the construction of the stadium. Only the factual information that all parties can agree to be correct and relevant will be presented to respondents.”
I have a very serious problem with the following statement within the question.
“Non-ratepayers are likely to pay indirectly in various ways, for example by way of reduction in household disposable income.”
This is pure conjecture and can not be included in any serious neutral survey of the stadium. It may very well be the case, but this hasn’t been proven my any economic modelling of the effects of the stadium development. It’s loaded and leading. For someone not a ratepayer (ie the possibly rent), to have suggested to them that because the stadium goes ahead they will be out of pocket, is fully loaded against the stadium. The first and last part of the statement are qualified by statements of fact. The part I have a problem with isn’t.
If that person was to be employed by the stadium, the would indeed actually better off economically, but these are all conjecture. And for someone to include this in what is a very serious undertaking is a little disturbing.
These guys are doing it out of their own time, and we thank them for that, but as they say on their site, they will be able to use this material in their teaching and possible published research at a later date, so it’s not a totally thankless task for them.
“In particular we wish to use this as an example for teaching students about ethical issues in Marketing Research, as well as the technical problems associated with avoiding bias. We also reserve the right to publish academic articles based on this project.”
I just don’t get why they don’t see that the statement in question isn’t biased? Are they being deliberate for further research, are they testing a hypothesis and this will be published, or are they just human and bring their own biases into the equation?