NIWA has big win in the New Zealand Supreme Court

The NIWA vs NZCET court result will be picked apart on more notable blogs than this – however I am curious about a few things in the 49 page “Judgement of Venning J”. My interest is mainly on the Clauses on the subject of the station data. To start though I want to look at Clause 176 – I will be interested to hear what readers think.
My press release from 2006 is still online here.
Here is Clause 176 from the Judgement –

I can not see that Judge Vennings paraphrasing of what Dr Wratt said about contrasting winds before and after 1945 – can have any bearing on the point in my press release which was that two IPCC compliant expert groups (Jones/CRU and NIWA) – both with access to the same database of station data – disagreed greatly about the long term New Zealand temperature trend – over whatever exact period chosen. I was pointing out how the science is not settled.
Wind affects equally the station data used by CRU & NIWA and is not a cause of the CRU – NIWA long-term trend divergence – as Venning J seems to conclude Dr Wratt has shown.

4 thoughts on “NIWA has big win in the New Zealand Supreme Court”

  1. Quite so. Also notice the NZ National Business Review article on this highlights Venning’s finding that:

    “I am satisfied that the methodology applied by NIWA was in accordance with internationally recognised and credible scientific methodology”

    If it was, and Jones/CRU also was, how did they come up with such different answers?

    Moreover, as you say Warwick, Dr Wratt’s reported evidence about colder winds in the early 20th century, whether true or not, appears totally irrelevant to the question whether CRU or NIWA’s 20th century trend is correct. It is hard to believe the judge read your press release. For he says, correctly, that “It is apparent that these matters will be affected by the starting date for the data set” without appearing to notice that your release compares both the NIWA and CRU figures way back into the 19th century. Whatever he means by the “earlier part of the 1945 period” [a confused expression in itself], Wratt’s remark can have no bearing on why CRU and NIWA trends diverge so sharply and suddenly before about 1960.

    I suspect there are quite a few other howlers in this judgement. I also notice para 167 which reports Dr Wratt and his mates as being unable to find an urban warming signal in Auckland. If they can’t find urban warming in the biggest city in the country, when the population has grown at an average 2.5% a year for a century (Table 2 here), then maybe they should go back to undergrad and try an easier subject.

  2. NIWA is apparently asking for $118,000 costs. See
    I’ve made a lengthy comment there

    As Richard Treadgold says in his blog post

    NIWA has reported to the Court that their costs were $118,000, but that’s 50% above the normal scale. Why? It’s nothing less than a punishment, and the crime, of course, is daring to challenge the government. Whistle-blowers aren’t welcome with NIWA. They can pursue tobacco barons to within an inch of the law, or let them investigate fracking, or lunge at the throat of the Ministry of Social Development for breaches of privacy, but don’t you dare ask reasonable questions of us or suggest we perhaps should use a properly accepted scientific method of adjusting temperatures.

    In its Court pleadings NIWA’s scientists claimed through their lawyers they are the final arbiters of the science they use and nobody can tell them what to do. I happen to agree that they should have that right, subject only to the usual journal-borne scientific challenge and verification, but when they adopt that attitude in their relationship with society it becomes no more than hubris and they turn from useful scientists into something unattractive. How unpleasant they become when a disagreeable, bureaucratic arrogance makes them take up strong-arm tactics against honest citizens.

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