On Friday, the New Zealand Herald reported that John Key has yet again rejected research that contradicted what the governments’ position is – in this case on the lack of effectiveness of 90 day trial employments.
John Keys’ response to the Motu funded report, which found that 90 day employment trials result in no statistically significant increase in employees being hiring by employers was:
“You can have a piece of academic research but it’s quite different from the small cafe owner whose money is on the line, who is taking the risks and who actually rely on this kind of policy.
“We are very comfortable that the law is working, we think it is effective, and we just fundamentally disagree with the research.”
Mr Key seems to miss the point of research – that it is supposed to help us avoid making erroneous decisions based on anecdotal evidence for example, that based on the experience of a single small café owner.
Of course this is not the first time the Mr Key has dismissed inconvenient research, having dismissed the work of Dr Mike Joy during a BBC interview in 2011.
The particularly galling thing about this dismissive approach to research, is that this government purports to want an evidence based approach to their policies, which those in the health and education sectors are probably well aware of.
If you want an evidence based approach used in government departments (which is a great idea) then it really needs to start from the top.
Featured image: CC flickr neetalparekh