Families Commission research not reliable standard – Minister

TVNZ News April 21, 2010
ONE News discovered today that (Social Development Minister Paula) Bennett strongly criticised the commission’s standards of research in a letter sent just three days before (Chief Families Commissioner Jan) Pryor resigned. ONE News obtained papers under the Official Information Act including a letter Paula Bennett wrote to Jan Pryor three days before her resignation. The letter states: “In my experience the Commission’s research has not been of a standard for me to rely upon it to inform policy decisions. In the future I expect research done by the Commission to be of a high standard.” Bennett says some of the research she saw last year she did not think was completely relevant to the work and priorities of the government.

The Minister also wrote to Pryor saying the Commission’s research techniques were sometimes not good enough to help the government make policy. “Focus groups are insufficient from my perspective to be the only basis when making policy decision which affects tens of thousands of New Zealanders,” a letter said. Bennett says interviewing 24 families for one research piece is not enough to give an indication of what is being felt out there and to give it some substance. Pryor denies the Commission did that. “As far as I know I have never offered up anything that is based on a few focus groups or 13 interviews or whatever and said ‘you should base policy on this’,” she says.
Fresh concerns over Families Commission

TVNZ News April 21, 2010
Bob McCoskrie from Family First says this is not good enough. “We want quantitative research that reflects the voices of families,” he says.