Claims of consensus - Scoop

Scoop has published a report on the results of an on-line survey of 117 participants claiming the HiveMind survey has produced evidence of a consensus on water quality issues.

The report states "Thankyou to all who contributed to our HiveMind Consultation on ‘Water Quality’ in July and August 2017. It is clear that there was a consensus amongst the 117 New Zealanders participating in this exercise around a number of important aspects of the water quality debate as described below.

"Firstly it is important that a clear consensus among respondents that there is indeed a freshwater management crisis in New Zealand (93%)."

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AgriViewNZ notes the authors do state "We cannot definitively claim this survey to constitute a representative sample of all New Zealanders, however the participants came from a variety of backgrounds and had differing views on a number of topics. We believe this exercise gives us a reasonably good snapshot of and insight into the views of the general New Zealand populace on the issues. The points of consensus reached are described in full below."

The Summary of the Report then concludes "These findings demonstrate that a majority of New Zealanders not only believe that there is crisis with Freshwater management in our country, but also agree to a significant extent on the factors and policy settings that are causing this crisis. Finally, and most importantly it appears from this consultation that there is a strong consensus among Kiwis on the possible solutions to the problems of water quality in New Zealand. This is important as consensus is the first step to collaborate and deliberate action to solve the issues. It appears that there is agreement across various political party preferences and different places in society on this issue."

AgriViewNZ believes the conclusions the authors draw are not sustainable based on the limitations of the survey they acknowledge themselves.