March 16, 2015

Stat of the Week Winner: March 7 – 13 2015

Thanks to Graeme Edgeler for winning our latest Stat of the Week competition and for his excellent explanation:

Statistic: “Māori adults have the highest levels of trust in the police, the health system & the courts. The lowest in the media”

Source: Tweet from Stats NZ

The statistic is written in a way that suggests Māori adults have the highest level of trust in the police etc., that is higher levels of trust than anyone else has in the police.

What the report actually shows is that the police etc. are the institutions in which Māori adults place the most trust as among institutions. It says nothing about whether Māori adults have more trust in them than anyone else. Anyone reading the tweet would think they did, but that was not even assessed.

It should be stat of the week, because, even if its not the most egregious stat this week, that fact that it is from Statistics New Zealand makes it worse.

Congratulations Graeme!


  • avatar

    Thank you for your feedback. Our tweet was not meant to imply that Māori have higher levels of trust in those institutions than other groups of people do. However in hindsight we can see how it could be read that way. It can be challenging getting complex information across in 140 characters and we could have done better. However, we do see Twitter as one way of trying to draw more people’s attention to the information we’re producing, as that’s the best way to get more value from it. As you note, the report this tweet relates to is about patterns of trust in institutions amongst Māori. It was intended to highlight which institutions Māori had the most and least trust in.

    3 years ago