Self-selecting sample

November 8th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

Earthquake Recovery Minister has signalled he is losing confidence in the Earthquake Commission ()’s chief executive, demanding a “full inquiry” into how disgruntled homeowners were excluded from satisfaction surveys.

The issue arose after EQC critic and homeowner advocate Bryan Staples provided The Press with a document which appeared to show a system whereby EQC earmarked dissatisfied customers to leave them out of potential survey pools.

Brownlee yesterday told reporters at Parliament he was “quite annoyed” not to have been given information about the exclusions sooner.

The disclosure followed an Auditor-General’s report this week which quoted an EQC survey saying 80 per cent of homeowners were satisfied with the Canterbury home repair process.

Brownlee later said EQC was doing “pretty well” and yesterday stood by the comment.

Asked what level of confidence he had in EQC chief executive Ian Simpson, Brownlee refused to comment, but made it clear that confidence was at stake.

“It’s one of those things that I think goes to the heart of confidence and I’m very, very annoyed about it,” he said.

“I’ve asked the State Services Commissioner to conduct a full inquiry and he’ll be reporting to me in the next couple of days about how that’s going to be progressed.”

 An inquiry is warranted. The integrity of the sample is crucial to the reliability of a poll or survey. The exclusion of those who were recorded as being in a dispute with EQC means that the survey results were not representative.

What will be crucial is whether the report disclosed the sampling method, and the fact some home owners were excluded.

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13 Responses to “Self-selecting sample”

  1. Redbaiter (6,483 comments) says:

    I wonder how many such polls they had in Japan?

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  2. Kleva Kiwi (267 comments) says:

    Did the EQC employ the left to do the poll?

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  3. tvb (3,952 comments) says:

    Ministers do not like being mislead. Either through dodgy surveys nor whether complaints have been made to the police. For Brownless to go public and order the SSC to look into it tells me the Chief Executive’s job is at risk

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Abolish the EQC, Christchurch has shown how irrelevant it is; it meets no need which private insurance cant.

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  5. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    We lost confidence in Simpson more than 2 years ago…he’s another Marryott

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,685 comments) says:

    Bye bye fat cushy salary, hello street sweeping.

    The chap must be a lefty.

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  7. Reid (15,625 comments) says:

    Is this a snafu or deliberate deception? Sampling integrity is stats 101 and even the most obtuse employee in the comms or marketing units or whoever did this have to know that.

    I’m not sure if this should be sheeted back to the CEO unless you take the approach of the US Navy in a Captain being responsible for any grounding on the grounds s/he did not run a sufficiently tight ship. Which is fair enough. However it could be a snafu in that no-one joined the dots when they did the data extract and no-one realised that the query had excluded this group and that’s quite conceivable since the technical people would simply follow the marketing team’s instructions and the marketing team wouldn’t necessarily know which tables held which data.

    But you’d have thought the results might have generated a red flag given the anecdotal evidence coming out about the performance. I guess no-one wants to really examine the horse when its coat’s all shiny.

    But typical political over-reaction here. Everyone runs around, drops everything else and stands up and salutes and damn the cost of ‘a full enquiry.’ That doesn’t matter at all, when the Minister’s upset. That’s the dysfunctional thing about govt depts, all over.

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  8. GPT1 (2,043 comments) says:

    And Labour want govt involved in more insurance. EQC are a law unto themselves and an utter disgrace.

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  9. peterwn (2,941 comments) says:

    Gerry needs expert advice here – who better to give it but Curia? This would have Labour / Green pollies screaming.

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  10. Andrew (67 comments) says:

    I’d hate to be the researcher involved with this survey… Wonder if the EQC or the survey provider excluded them?

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  11. Andrew (67 comments) says:

    Actually just thinking about this some more… If the target population for the survey was ‘those who have competed their dealing with EQC’ then it makes sense to exclude people whose issues are not yet resolved. If they are wanting to assess their entire process that is. Presumably the excluded people would be *inside* the target population for a future wave of the survey, and the current wave includes some who were *outside* the population for the last wave.

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  12. flipper (3,277 comments) says:

    It is amazing how much the MSM misses, even when an over-abundance of would be scribes sits in Cun*liffe’s adoring gallery.

    This is not a diversion. It relates to the red zone housing situation, and Gerry Brownlee has given Justice whatshisname (Fogarty?) a caning.
    Read on:
    *…. “Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: I clearly said that there were some things I am not satisfied with, and I have today asked the State Services Commissioner to conduct a full review of that particular issue so that we can have confidence in the surveys of the Earthquake Commission.

    Hon Ruth Dyson: Has the Minister asked for or received any advice on an alternative to red zone financial settlements for those who are still waiting for the Port Hills zoning review decisions, which were due before Christmas last year; if so, will he do something—anything—to fix the situation for them?

    Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: There are 511 households on the Port Hills that are in review. We had hoped to make an announcement about that, but the Quake Outcasts decision would have meant that we were pursuing an offer that has for the time being been determined as inappropriate. That would put us in contempt of court until we have gone through the appeal process. There is not a lot that can be done at the present time. I am deeply distressed by this, I have to say, and I do find it extraordinary that someone can sit on the bench of a court in this country and inflict such injustice on so many people. [ :-) ]

    Hon Ruth Dyson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! This is a point of order and it will be heard in silence.

    Hon Ruth Dyson: I understand the issue that the Minister is faced with in terms of the Quake Outcasts decision, which is why my question specifically asked about financial settlements as alternatives to red zone offers.

    Mr SPEAKER: I listened carefully to the question and to the Minister’s answer. On this occasion I believe the Minister addressed the question. If the member is not satisfied, the way to advance this issue is to ask further supplementary questions.

    Hon David Parker: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Minister, in his answer, denigrated the judiciary for the decision that they have brought down against his decision.

    Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: No, I did not.

    Hon David Parker: Yes, he did—

    Mr SPEAKER: I am hearing a point of order.

    Hon David Parker: —and I would have thought that for him to, on the one hand, refuse to answer a question from the primary questioner on the ground that this is before the courts, and to then take a slap at the judge for laying down a lawful decision would be outside the Standing Orders.

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I do not believe in any way that the issue was outside the Standing Orders. It was for the Minister to be responsible for the answer that he gave. He gave the answer and he bears responsibility for the way he answered the question.

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  13. artemisia (194 comments) says:

    My first thought was same as Andrew at 1.20, ie completed claims only. An important survey goes through many hands before being released, and a bunch more when being analysed and reported on. Hard to see that nobody noticed a major flaw in the selection criteria. If it was completed claims only that should be easy to determine. The fact that hasn’t happened certainly indicates a possible issue.

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