VUW: Records mentioning scientists Dr Ronan Connolly and/or Michael Connolly and/or Christopher Monckton

Chris Johnston made this Official Information request to Victoria University of Wellington

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Victoria University of Wellington should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Chris Johnston

Dear Victoria University of Wellington,

Please provide any records (including but not limited to internal/external: documents, emails, notes, minutes, text messages, or social media messages) mentioning scientists Dr Ronan Connolly and/or Michael Connolly and/or Christopher Monckton.

For context - so that you can correctly identify the individuals - some links relevant to their work are mentioned in the links below.
1) This is the presentation of their findings that Earth's atmosphere is in thermo-dynamic equilibrium (directly opposite to a key IPCC assumption), and therefore CO2 cannot have any significant effect on the temperature of Earth's atmosphere.
https://youtu.be/XfRBr7PEawY
or
https://t.co/FolJ8vWmGL?amp=1

2) This is the Connolly's blog site where they publish their results:
https://globalwarmingsolved.com/

3) This is where their empirical discovery is talked about by Christopher Monckton as a potential Nobel Prize winning paper (once published).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_conti...
or
https://t.co/gPBhw9GolD?amp=1

Yours faithfully,

Chris Johnston

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From: OIA Requests
Victoria University of Wellington

Kia ora

 

Official information request for information mentioning scientists
Connolly, Connolly, and Monckton

 

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your official information request
dated 2 October 2019.

 

We received your request on 2 October. We will endeavour to respond to
your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 31
October, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If
we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an
extension of that timeframe.

 

If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your
request, please do not hesitate to contact me so that these can be taken
into account.

 

Ngâ mihi nui

 

Georgia Tawharu

Adviser, Information Access and Copyright – Legal Services

Victoria University of Wellington | Te Whare Wânanga o te Ûpoko o te Ika a
Mâui

 

Phone: 04 463 5249

Room 213, Hunter Building

Gate 2 Kelburn Parade PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

 

This message and any attachments may contain confidential information. If
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately
and destroy any copies of this e-mail.

 

 

 

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From: OIA Requests
Victoria University of Wellington


Attachment Final response Chris Johnston.pdf
192K Download View as HTML


Please find the attached response to your request for information.

 

Ngâ mihi nui

 

Georgia Tawharu

Adviser, Information Access and Copyright – Legal Services

Victoria University of Wellington | Te Whare Wânanga o te Ûpoko o te Ika a
Mâui

 

Phone: 04 463 5249

Room 213, Hunter Building

Gate 2 Kelburn Parade PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

 

This message and any attachments may contain confidential information. If
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately
and destroy any copies of this e-mail.

 

 

 

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA Requests,

Thank you for the reply.

I respond to each of the points in turn:

LACK OF CONSULTATION

Your response states that you have failed to consult with me about what an acceptable response to this OIA might look like. This is a step that needs to be undertaken because there is likely to be way through.

A MINIMUM WAY THROUGH

At a bare minimum - quantitative counts on emails only are a possibility - based on keywords. This avoids all VUWs other concerns - Effort, Time frame for Response, S9(2)(g)(i) and the Education Act,

PREPARATION FOR AN AGREED QUANTITATIVE APPROACH

I need a count from the email system (which VUW have shown that they can search) a completed table with the following counts:
a) 5 Column Headers - each with the names of the authors mentioned in this OIA as follows:
- Dr Connolly, Ronan Connolly, Michael Connolly, Christopher Monckton, Monckton
b) 10 Row headers - please search and count in the email system for the following combinations of keywords in addition to the author's name. So for example where "Climate" is the keyword then the search would be for: Climate + "Dr Connolly". The keyword list that would initially be useful is:
- Climate, Radiosonde, Global Warming, CO2, IPCC, Troposphere, Thermodynamic, Equilibrium, Greenhouse, Zero Carbon

The purpose of this approach is:
A) So that we can establish whether the University is likely to hold active records (emails) on these scientists (a piece of information in itself which is useful). If there was no other action on this OIA then this would have utility to me.
B) It may inform in a subsequent phase of this OIA whether volumes are low enough in a particular area to progress where any issues below are worked through.

ISSUES WITH THE LOGIC OF THE RESPONSE

Not withstanding the above quantitative approach, there are items to resolve in the logic used by VUW in responding to this OIA.

S9(2)(a) INDIVIDUAL PRIVACY

I note that all other government entities responding to identically worded OIAs have been able to do this by annotating redactions in the relevant documents provided.

S9(2)(g)(i) FREE AND FRANK EXPRESSION OF OPINION IN COURSE OF DUTY + EDUCATION ACT and SPECIAL ROLE OF UNIVERSITY AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM

This appears to be an argument that anything other than administrative records within a University are not subject to the OIA. This is worth testing via the Ombudsman.

I note that where personal identification is redacted S9(2)(a) and other sensitivities are catered for (like Intellectual Property and commercially sensitive information) any concerns for academic freedom at the individual and organisational level seem to decrease significantly. The argument VUW seems to put is that "we can only debate freely amongst ourselves if it remains secret" ... which is what I am sure a lot of government departments would also argue, but this is not the intent of the OIA law that Parliament passed.

Can VUW please point to other OIAs where the same chain of logic has been used to decline OIA requests? It would help decrease the Ombudsman's workload if we can be clear as early as possible whether this has been a successful interpretation in the past and if it has gone to their office beforehand.

On this topic of the cause of Global Warming and the reliability of the IPCC's work, Parliament is in the process of passing legislation that would significantly affect the economy, and the evidence and background information on which that is based should be available for debate as it is of high public interest.

OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE PUBLIC RECORDS ACT and IOA

I will submit a separate OIA to further understand how VUW complies with the Public Records Act and Official Information Act. All other government agencies have been able to answer these identical requests to date - so at first glance it seems to me that VUW may be in breach of its legal obligations to the Crown and the public.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA Requests,

Please confirm that my latest communication on this OIA has been received and is being actioned.

An expected time frame for a response would also be appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Victoria University of Wellington

Kia ora Chris

 

The University has received your email, and will conduct the requested
searches. Due to the size of our systems, and the amount of searches
requested, this will take some time.

The University is not treating this as an OIA request, rather a follow up
question from your previous request. We are aiming to provide answers to
your questions by the 12th of November. This is based on the availability
of our ITS staff completing the searches. If this timeframe changes, I
will let you know.

 

Thank you for your patience.

 

Ngā mihi nui

 

Georgia Tawharu

Adviser, Information Access and Copyright – Legal Services

Victoria University of Wellington | Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o te Ika a
Māui

 

Phone: 04 463 5249

Room 213, Hunter Building

Gate 2 Kelburn Parade PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

 

This message and any attachments may contain confidential information. If
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately
and destroy any copies of this e-mail.

 

 

 

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA Requests,

Thanks for your reply.

From my point of view I am assisting VUW to comply with the law in answering the original OIA.

Could you also please respond to my responses to the VUW logic. If VUW have not changed their mind this will determine whether we head to the Ombudsman.

If there is no response by the close of business on Thursday 7 November then I will assume that you are not reconsidering. If you want to buy time to reconsider then please provide a date.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Victoria University of Wellington

Kia ora Chris

 

Further to the below, the University is currently working to establish the
extent of documentation that will be captured by your requested searches.
With regard to your request for further information regarding the
University’s response to your original request, the University’s position
is currently being considered.

 

We will be in touch regarding both matters in due course.

 

Ngā mihi nui

 

Georgia Tawharu

Adviser, Information Access and Copyright – Legal Services

Victoria University of Wellington | Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o te Ika a
Māui

 

Phone: 04 463 5249

Room 213, Hunter Building

Gate 2 Kelburn Parade PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

 

This message and any attachments may contain confidential information. If
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately
and destroy any copies of this e-mail.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA Requests,

Thank you for your note describing that VUW is working towards a response..

Could you please provide a date?

Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Victoria University of Wellington


Attachment image001.jpg
7K Download

Attachment Final response Chris Johnston.pdf
284K Download View as HTML


Please find the attached response to your request for information.

 

Ngā mihi nui

 

Georgia Tawharu

Adviser, Information Access & Copyright

Legal Services

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

 

+-------------------+
|Phone +64 4 463 |
|5249 |
|-------------------|
|[1]www.wgtn.ac.nz ||
|0800 04 04 04 |
|-------------------|
+-------------------+

This message and any attachments may contain confidential information. If
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately
and destroy any copies of this e-mail.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.victoria.ac.nz/
http://www.victoria.ac.nz/

Link to this

From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA Requests,

Thanks for your estimate of the effort required to meet the record count triage request that helps VUW and myself:
1) Understand whether the counts are sufficient in their own right to answer my question (e.g. a zero count might), and/or
2) Whether the original OIA request can be answered because the number of documents involved is low – and therefore any effort to redact etc is low.

The interim information is useful in that it outlines that there is significant information of use and puts an upper bound around the numbers. It looks like there are approx 75 documents that would need to be reviewed under the column Ronan Connolly were VUW to answer this OIA as originally requested. This is under the assumption that many of the counts of documents are the same document. Redacting 75 documents does not to me seem to be too much work.

I will regard this letter as consultation on how to best meet the need for the information I have requested. This will enable you to respond in a more immediate way than waiting for the full allocated time.

ORIGNAL OIA of 2 OCTOBER 2019
VUW has also not responded to the questions posed in my communication of the 5 November 2019 about the logic used in declining the request. On 13 November 2019 VUW said that it was [re]considering its position. [My annotation].
CONSULTATION 3) Has VUW changed its mind on how the original OIA of 2 October 2019 will be treated?

THE PATH FROM HERE
When taken in the whole, it seems that:
• Both of the following OIAs with VUW are affected – both significantly overdue:
o https://fyi.org.nz/request/11357-vuw-rec...
o https://fyi.org.nz/request/11356-vuw-rec...
• It would be simpler and cheaper to revisit the original OIAs in their original form now that there is greater clarity on VUW’s self-acknowledged obligations and the awareness of its staff.
o All academic staff in VUW are clearly briefed that the information they create is subject to the OIA
o The argument of “free and frank” expression has thus fallen away.
o See IRM Booklet.pdf in https://fyi.org.nz/request/11558-vuw-evi... and my summary letter in that OIA trail at the link of 9 December 2019
• In the meantime, and without prejudice to continuing this process directly with VUW, I will be forwarding this OIA and the other associated ones to the Ombudsman for their input and guidance.

I note that the following OIA with VUW is also underway and may encounter similar debates, issues and delays:
o https://fyi.org.nz/request/11355-vuw-rec...

Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Victoria University of Wellington only: