Ken Ring

Mark Honeychurch made this Official Information request to Department of Conservation

The request was successful.

From: Mark Honeychurch

Dear Department of Conservation,

Ken Ring has recently informed me that the Department of Conservation (DOC) was/is a customer of his. Please can you tell me:

1. Does DOC currently use Ken Ring's weather predictions?
2. Has DOC ever used Ken Ring's weather predictions?
3. If DOC has ever used Ken Ring's weather predictions
a) Which services have DOC used (Almanac, Online Forecasts, E-Reports, etc)?
b) How much has DOC spent on these services?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Honeychurch

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From: Shana Harding
Department of Conservation

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25 July 2013



Mark Honeychurch      



Dear Mark


Official Information Act request


This letter responds to your request of 10 July 2013 for information on
the Department of Conservation’s use of Ken Ring’s weather services. 


The Department is not a customer of Ken Ring and does not currently use
his weather services.


The only instance of use was approximately 2 years ago when the
Department’s avalanche control team in Te Anau accessed Ken Ring’s Almanac
and compared his seasonal predictions to those of the Met Service and
actual observations.  The Almanac was not used in any decision-making
capacity however.


Please contact me should clarification be needed.


Yours sincerely


Shana Harding

National Operations Coordinator (acting)

04 494 1427 | [email address]


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Rowan Crawford left an annotation ()

Looks like my automatic signature hiding plugin failed on this one. Thinking about how to make it detect it correctly. Click to expand in the meantime!

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Jamie Morris left an annotation ()

I'd be interested in the response from DOC on this one.

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Mike McGavin left an annotation ()

Hi Mark.

It sounds as if it's an effective denial on DOC's part, which I'd be happy to accept in the absence of material evidence.

If I can ask out of interest, what was the context of Ken Ring informing you that DOC was a customer? I keep imagining him wearing his other hat as a children's entertainer, and hosting a children's party at a DOC Office creche somewhere.

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Mark Honeychurch left an annotation ()


I'd invited Ken Ring to this year's Skeptics Conference, and he ended up getting a bit upset and angry. Here's his original email to me:

It was followed by other emails, including the one where he claimed that his predictions were used by DOC, along with other organisations such as Vector and Air NZ.

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Mike McGavin left an annotation ()

Thanks for that. Did you consider asking Air New Zealand? I believe it's also subject to the OIA, unless it's already been sold off. In any case it's still listed by FYI.

The implications of a major airline making use of that almanac seem potentially disturbing.

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Mark Honeychurch left an annotation ()

I didn't realise that Air NZ were subject to the OIA - I'll submit a request this evening.

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Mike McGavin left an annotation ()

Actually I notice the most recent OIA request to Air NZ (via FYI) was refused on the grounds that "The Official Information Act applies only to Government entities. As a listed public company, Air New Zealand is not subject to the Official Information Act.", so the company probably shouldn't be listed in FYI.

It may be worth verifying this, but with a quick check in Schedule 1 of the OIA itself I can't see Air NZ. Apparently it was removed in 1989 according to the Act. :(

More context in the NZ Herald.

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Things to do with this request

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