|Lies, damn lies and research|
Kaikohe is a rather sleepy town with a population of around a thousand people. However three thousand people turned up to protest about the proposed planning scheme. They were angry and they were determined. They encircled the Council Chambers and their tractors and trucks only added to the menace. It was the biggest planning protest ever held in New Zealand.
The Councillors were cornered. The Mayor came out to address the crowd. It was a simple speech, only one sentence long. "The planning sceme would be scrapped, and they would start all over again."
Jenny Dixon wrote a book about planning in Northland. She failed to mention the protest. Community action did not fit her pre-conceived ideas about the way planning ought to be. She had not been there. She actually knew nothing about the planning process in Northland. The University however expects staff to write books to add to the PBRF image of the University.
The problem is that when students are asked to do what is called "research" they are expected to begin by surveying "the literature". Their essays repeat the lie until finally the lie has been repeated so often that it becomes the truth.