Figures Can’t Lie But Liars Can Figure

By David

The Sunday Herald this week reported on a scheme hatched up by Sport New Zealand (SNZ) to socialise private funding of New Zealand sport. With politburo efficiency SNZ already control the government’s investment in New Zealand sport. And now Miskimmin wants to get his sticky fingers on funds generated by a free enterprise economy. Wouldn’t it be ironic to see millions of dollars earned in a free enterprise economy given to the country’s leading Leninist autocrat to pursue his centralized, socialist dogma. How New Zealand’s centre right National government can bear the paradox of all that is beyond belief.

Miskimmin’s latest scheme for New Zealand sport is explained as follows:

“Sir Michael Fay and the first America’s Cup ventures and Sir Colin Giltrap with motorsport and sailing to Sir Owen Glenn in hockey and Sir David Levene supporting Lydia Ko – but the structured, unified approach certainly is” new.

I can only hope that Sir Michael Fay, Sir Colin Giltrap, Sir Owen Glenn and Sir David Levene recognize the phrase, “structured, unified approach” for the socialist creed that it most certainly is. These men earned their money by investing in a free enterprise economy. They have supported sport in the same way. I would think they are too smart to be sucked into a SNZ soviet style sporting scam.

But what I really find obscene is the dishonesty of the SNZ argument used to promote their cause. Here is a long extract from the Sunday Herald report.

“A joint venture between the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Sport New Zealand will target private investment from some of the most successful and wealthy individuals in this country and around the world to help fund high-performance sport

“There are plenty of people who want to do big things for New Zealand.” says Sport New Zealand chief executive Peter Miskimmin. “In sport, we can say we are world-leading.

It’s well recognised that New Zealand’s performances – and incremental improvement – over the past 12 years at Olympic level have been staggering. From four in Sydney in 2000 to 13 in London two years ago, total medals have increased more than 300 per cent. That amount also includes a 600 per cent increase in gold medals over the same period.

“People around the world are noticing,” says Miskimmin. “Especially with the colour of our medals and our depth of sports. Ours were spread across six sports.”

The improvement has come off the back of a sharp increase in government funding of sport, especially at elite level. In 2002, direct investment in the high-performance programmes for the six targeted sports was $2.3 million. By 2013, that figure had increased to $23.1 million.

“The system is working extremely well,” says Miskimmin. “We do an incredible job for the amount of money that comes in. There’s no debate about that and we have one of the most efficient high-performance systems in the world.”

So what do you make of all that. I am sure that Miskimmin wants you to believe that as a direct result of the government’s money increasing from $2.3 million to $23.1 million the medals, won by New Zealand athletes between Sydney in 2000 and London in 2012, have increased by 300 per cent and the number of gold medals has increased by 600 per cent – more money to Miskimmin equals more medals; from 4 in Sydney to 13 in London, simple really.

But is it really that simple? Is that really what has happened? Is this the full truth or is it Miskimmin spin? Well, as with most of the stuff coming out of SNZ there is another side to the Miskimmin account. Here is a table that shows you the medals won at the four Olympic Games funded by Miskimmin’s socialist millions.

Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

2000 Sydney

1

0

3

4

2004 Athens

3

2

0

5

2008 Beijing

3

2

4

9

2012 London

6

2

5

13

Total

12

6

12

31

So far all that seems to support Miskimmins argument – 4 medals in 2000, 13 in 2012, 1 gold medal in 2000, 6 in 2012. Perhaps the government’s $23.1 million has been well spent. I’m sure that’s what Miskimmin wants New Zealand to believe. But is there more? Well, yes there is.

This next table shows you the medals won by New Zealand athletes in the four Olympic Games before there was a Miskimmin, before Whole of Sport plans, before the centralized delivery of sport, before Miskimmin assumed control of New Zealand sport.

Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

1984 Los Angeles

8

1

2

11

1988 Seoul

3

2

8

13

1992 Barcelona

1

4

5

10

1996 Atlanta

3

2

1

6

Total

15

9

16

40

Would you believe it – in the four Olympic Games before Miskimmin’s money; when private enterprise ruled sport, New Zealand athletes won 29% more medals (40 to 31) and 25% more gold medals (15 to 12)? The figures suggest that the government’s money has bought us nothing. Certainly Miskimmin’s argument is in tatters. His spin is without substance.

Miskimmin also argues that the number of successful sports has increased during his reign. But is this true? The table below shows the number of sports that won medals during Miskimmin’s four Olympic Games and the number of winning sports in the four Olympic Games before Miskimmin.

Games

Sports

No. Sports

1984 to 1996

Canoeing, Equestrian, Sailing, Rowing, Boxing, Swimming, Athletics

7

2000 – 2012

Rowing, Equestrian, Sailing, Cycling, Triathlon, Canoeing, Athletics

7

Well, there you go – no change. In fact the winning sports have stayed remarkably the same pre and during Miskimmin. In the most recent four Olympic Games triathlon has been added and surprise, surprise swimming has vanished into oblivion. Swimming, the sport with the longest tradition of centralised delivery has won nothing all through the period of Miskimmin’s millions.

Equally sad as the litany of Miskimmin spin is the failure of main stream media to investigate what they are being told. There appears to be a culture in New Zealand that if Miskimmin says it – it will be published. That’s sad and bad. Our research clearly shows that if it comes from Miskimmin’s desk it needs to be checked and checked again. Main stream media need to determine – are they being told the truth or is the tale just another part of Miskimmin’s agenda. I think we have just established the motive for this story.

  • David

    I see Lauren’s 1500 metre record has been broken this morning. Craig Lord on Swimvortex, reporting the story had this to say, “The standard had stood at 15:22.68 to part-time training partner this season past, New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle, currently training in Australia while her country attempts to find a solution to a crisis of management.” The world is beginning to realize the extent of the mess we are in.