NIWA bows at last to pressure, but feels ‘insulted’

Tam-o-Shanter sea urchin

In the NZ Herald yesterday morning came news that NIWA is “putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet”.

It’s been five weeks since the NZCSC request to NIWA’s CEO, John Morgan, under the Official Information Act; it’s only two months since we published our study critical of the handling of the NZ temperature record; and it is decades since Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Warwick Hughes, Dr Jim Hessell and others started asking Dr Jim Salinger for his data and calculations.

This is tremendous news and it is to NIWA’s credit that they are releasing the data. But one comment from Renwick strikes a sour and revealing note:

Yesterday Dr Renwick said that while he had no problem releasing the Niwa data he found it insulting to be singled out when, for example, medical and Treasury researchers were not expected to disclose all of their workings. “There is a real issue of trust here. The assumption is people like myself don’t know what we are doing or we’ve got some kind of agenda just to get research funding.”

He feels insulted? He should stop whining. Any discomfort Jim Renwick feels in being compelled to hand over to the public this public data is of his and his colleagues’ own making. NIWA is being singled out only because of its sustained intransigence over many years. Continue Reading →