Ilam candidate says he can’t be part of Labour if Cunliffe remains

September 30th, 2014 at 2:51 pm by David Farrar

James Macbeth Dann was Labour’s candidate for Ilam in 2011. He writes at Public Address:

We delivered tens of thousands of pieces of paper with your face on it. But the reality, the hard truth, is that people in the electorate just didn’t connect with you. I lost count of the number of times I door knocked someone who told me they had voted Labour all their life, but wouldn’t vote for us as long as you were leader. People who would have a Labour sign – but not one with your face on it.


The Labour Party isn’t a vehicle for you to indulge your fantasy of being Prime Minister. While you might think that it’s your destiny to be the visionary leader of this country, the country has a very different vision – and it doesn’t involve you.

Double ouch.

I think I did a good job in a very difficult electorate, and would like to build on it at the next election.

However, I won’t be part of a party that you lead. Not because I don’t like you, but because I simply don’t want to lose again. That’s the reality David. The people of New Zealand don’t want you to be their leader. The comparisons that you and your supporters have thrown up don’t hold water – you aren’t Norm Kirk and you aren’t Helen Clark. You’re David Cunliffe and you led the Labour Party to it’s most devastating result in modern history.

Triple ouch.

If you win, I’ll step aside from the party, to let you and your supporters mould it into the party you want. But in return I ask this: if you lose this primary, you resign from parliament. In your time in opposition, we’ve had you on the front bench, where you let down your leader at the most critical point of the 2011 campaign. You ran for leader and lost, then destabilised the elected leader. Then when you got your chance as leader, you led Labour a party that was polling in the mid-30’s to one that sits firmly in the mid-20’s. There is no place for you in this party anymore.

And the quadruple ouch.

I won’t be entirely surprised if at some stage Cunliffe withdraws from the leadership race, as I suspect Mr Dann will not be the last candidate, MP or activist to make such a declaration.

Labour and Ilam

April 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour’s high hopes of gaining traction in the National stronghold of Ilam got off to a false start yesterday.

The day started off promisingly, with two nominees – Riccarton-Wigram Community Board member Debbie Mora and Left-wing blogger James Dann – set to contest a selection meeting next week.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has held the Ilam seat since 1996 and, while Labour is unlikely to win the seat, the party had hoped to target it and make the contest there a referendum on the Government’s handling of the quake recovery and Brownlee’s role.

A week may be a long time in politics but try 17 hours.

That’s the time between Mora’s campaign team proudly announcing, through a press release, that she wanted to be the first female to represent Ilam and a brief email, from the same source, saying Mora was out of contention because of “unforeseen circumstances”.

Somewhat Mickey Mouse.

Mora said her campaign manager, Luc Chandler, was “a bit over-eager” in sending out the first release last night.

She had wanted him to hold off for 24 hours – a sensible move considering she was sorting out a possible medical operation.

But then it got even worse when news of Mora leaving the race was given to media – before Labour Party officials were told.

Oh dear.

It leaves plenty of uncertainty over whether the selection process will continue with Dann the anointed candidate or if Labour will have to rethink and get some competition back into the race.

I hope Dann is selected, as that may stop the media quoting him as merely a Christchurch blogger, rather than a Labour candidate as the Herald does.

Herald again fails to disclose author is a Labour candidate

February 23rd, 2013 at 10:54 am by David Farrar

I blogged on Thursday how the Herald ran a blog post from James Dann that was both factually incorrect and also failed to disclose Dann stood for Labour for the Christchurch City Council.

Well again on Friday they have run a blog post by Dann (of course attacking the Government again). Once again they do not mention that he is a Labour Party candidate.

How can the Herald justify not telling its readers that the blogger whose work they reprint, who constantly attacks the Government, is in fact a political party candidate?

Herald repeats misinformation

February 21st, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

James Dann is a Christchurch local body politician and blogs on the Christchurch rebuild etc. His latest blog post is on the Nielsen survey for CERA which has upset a few people because in fact it found not everyone was unhappy.

James has said the survey is unrepresentative:

The key to this survey is in the methodology. It was undertaken between August 29 and October 15 last year. 2381 people responded to the survey. 1156 of them were from Christchurch City, 618 from Selwyn District and 607 from Waimakariri District. So that means that of the people who did respond, more than half (1225) AREN’T ACTUALLY FROM CHRISTCHURCH. I mean no disrespect to the people of Rolleston, Lincoln, Rangiora, Kaiapoi etc. I am sure they have had a hard time. But they don’t have the same issues that people who actually live in the city do. They haven’t had to deal with a lack of services, portaloos, red zoning, TC3 land, roadworks to the same extent that people who live in the city do. …

Yet the survey then merges these three population groups, and continues to extrapolate from the combined population for another 100 pages. If you get to the end of the report, you’ll find the populations of Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri. They are 289,000, 30,000 and 36,000 respectively. More than 80% of the adult population lives in Christchurch, and yet more than 50% of respondents come from less than 20% of the population, a section of the population that the survey shows have a more positive response in this survey.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Now the Herald has gone and reprinted his blog post in the Herald.

James has made a fatal mistake. He has not read the survey results.

He is correct that the raw sample is not reflective of the overall population. That 80% live in Christchurch but only half the responses were from Christchurch people.

But what he has either deliberately or accidentally omitted, is that the results are weighted so that the results do precisely match the area, gender and age of the local population. Nielsen say  in their report:

The sample design over-sampled residents of the two districts with smaller populations to ensure that the sample size within each district was sufficient to allow reliable and robust analysis. 

At the analysis stage, the data was adjusted by a process called weighting. This process adjusts for discrepancies between the profile of people who completed the survey and the known profile of residents of greater Christchurch. 

Population statistics are obtained from Statistics New Zealand data and is based on the latest population projections. 

Weighting increases the influence of some observations and reduces the influence of others. So, for example, while 618 or 26% of completed interviews came from Selwyn District, the population of Selwyn actually represents about 8% of greater Christchurch. Thus, the data was adjusted so that 8% of any ‘greater Christchurch’ result reported is based on the responses of Selwyn residents.

So the criticism of Dann are entirely invalid, and worse the Herald has repeated them on their website. This is not a matter of opinion. His failure to mention that the results are weighted by area totally invalidate his criticism. The Herald was aware of this also, as one of their editorial staff tweeted his blog post and I pointed out this failing in a response (which they retweeted).

Appendix 5 of the poll results on page 103 details their weighting matrix with precise quotas for area, gender and age. It is a model of transparency.

Incidentally how significant were the differences in responses from those in Christchurch itself, and the two neighbouring districts? Here’s the figures for overall quality of life – good vs poor.

  • Christchurch City 72% good vs 7% poor
  • Selwyn 85% good vs 4% poor
  • Waimakariri 82% good vs 4% poor
  • Greater Christchurch 74% good vs 7% poor

So the results for Greater Christchurch are almost identical to Christchurch City.

The only question I have is whether Mr Dann knew the survey was weighted and decided not to mention that fact, or whether he just failed to read the results in full.

UPDATE: He has amended his original blog post to now mention the weighting, but note that the version picked up by the Herald doesn’t include this.

UPDATE 2: Dann was a Labour Party candidate at the last local body elections. Yet the Herald didn’t think to mention this. Shocking.