Pellett blaming the Chinese

David Farrar

 tweeted yesterday:

Pellett is a donation to both Labour and David Cunliffe and meant to be involved in their economic policy development. As you can see he has concluded the problem is Chinese expat house owners.

Note his robust source of data – a mate who texted him. And somehow this mate not only went around 25 houses, but went out of his way at every house to ask about the ethnicity of the owner, and whether or not they are expat. His data sounds about as reliable as a typical caller into talkback radio.

@SelwynPellett You push that racist button Selwyn. Winston will be delighted.

— Bill Ralston (@BillyRalston) March 19, 2014


Bill Ralston congratulates him on behalf of Winston. Ralston also supplies a fact, as opposed to a text from a mate:

.@SelwynPellett Fact: 6% of sales to “foreigners”. Fact: Only 1.5% of sales to Chinese. Racist scaremongering and political spin from you.

— Bill Ralston (@BillyRalston) March 19, 2014


So Pellett asked for some facts, and got them.

@BillyRalston @nzherald and their source? How do we check raw data?

— Selwyn Pellett (@SelwynPellett) March 19, 2014


But amazingly even after Ralston supplies the source, Pellett seems to suggest that the data may be made up or manufactured. This from the economic genius who cited a text from a mate as his source.

@SelwynPellett @BillyRalston The data is here – just 1.2% of sales to Chinese buyers not living here.

— David Farrar (@dpfdpf) March 19, 2014


I then helpfully stepped in and provided a media report citing the BNZ data. So we have Pellett arguing 92% of homes sought by his buyer mate were owned by Chinese expats vs the BNZ data from real estate agent sales that found it was 1.2%. You’d think he’s give up, but no.

@dpfdpf @nzherald I spend my life crunching data for living but shit in shit out. So where is robust audit worthy data source. Its

— Selwyn Pellett (@SelwynPellett) March 19, 2014


Now he is claiming that the Auditor-General or someone has to audit the BNZ data before he will accept it. This would be more hilarious than tragic if it were not for the fact he started the discussion by citing a tweet from a mate claiming that 92% of homes he had looked at were owned by Chinese. He certainly does know shit data when he sees it, but because it allowed him to bash the Chinese, he used it.

@DeepRed6502 @dpfdpf @nzherald yeap exactly. Change Chinese to English foreign owners makes no difference to -ve impact on economy.

— Selwyn Pellett (@SelwynPellett) March 19, 2014


Then finally he claims it is not about race, but foreign ownership. However he is the one who tweeted explicitly citing Chinese expat owners. Bit too late at the end to try and say it isn’t about race. The reality is he tried to scaremonger over Chinese buyers based on an anecdotal text from a mate. And then when called out on it, he rubbished any data that contradicted his mate’s text.

And this is who is helping Labour write their economic policy. That’s the really scary thing.

UPDATE: A reader has pointed out to me that Pellett wasn’t so opposed to foreign investment when he got hundreds of thousands of dollars from Jim Anderton in grants for his company, and then sold it off to a foreign buyer. Also it has been suggested that he ask family members how they would feel about his mate racially profiling them on the basis of assumed ethnicity if they were home owners.

Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.

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