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Climate scandal escalates: NIWA deceives us

Climate Conversation Group
18 December 2009
in association with the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC)


NZ climate scandal escalates: NIWA deceives us, but why?

NIWA have published misleading material on their web site and seems to have advised the Hon Dr Nick Smith, the Minister for Climate Change Issues, to misinform Parliament, according to the Climate Conversation Group and the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. The two organisations claim that NIWA’s response to their enquiries for simple information about the national temperature record has been unnecessarily defensive and obstructive.

Spokesman for the project, Richard Treadgold, said that claims from NIWA that they gave the information to the Coalition in 2006 are wrong. “They have quoted a private email from one of their scientists to a colleague. It was sent almost before the Coalition existed, when they hadn’t even talked about the temperature record, it mentions neither NIWA nor the Coalition and does not contain the information we asked for. NIWA’s assertion that that email contains the requested information is not supported by reading the email,” said Mr Treadgold, adding, “We invite them to release it, so everyone can see what it says.”

“To expect the whole Coalition to know that one scientist was sent an email several years ago suggests mere ignorance; but to refuse to resend that email or a copy of a paper betrays a reluctance to help, and that’s disgraceful. If any other government department gave deliberately obstructive answers to questions from their clients (much less Parliamentary questions), heads would roll.

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“We put only three questions and they haven’t answered any of them. For seven stations, it would take about half an hour to pull out the figures and send them over.

“The longer NIWA obfuscate, produce red herrings, answer questions we haven’t asked and criticise us for what we haven’t alleged and haven’t challenged, the more suspicious everybody gets. Time is passing,” said Mr Treadgold, “and the question is actually changing; people are starting to ask why they don’t answer.”

Mr Treadgold explained that the parliamentary misinformation relates to Nick Smith’s comment that the Coalition have had certain information “since 2003”; the Coalition didn’t exist in 2003. Also, the information he told Parliament was in their possession was in fact not.

The full story is posted at the Climate Conversation Group web site, at


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