BREAKING: Epic fail for deniers in New Zealand NIWA climate record challenge

Just picked this up from Ken @OpenParachute – a humiliating defeat for the climate sceptic movement:

The High Court decision on the Judicial Review of NIWA’s New Zealand temperature record was issued today. I will comment in more depth next week but interested readers can read the judgement themselves at 

In short – the arguments made by the climate change denial/sceptics/ contrarian groups were tossed out and costs will be awarded against them.

Ouch! And costs awarded against them? That’s the equivalent to a judicial back hand…

See also here for a range of expert opinion:

A group of leading New Zealand climate scientists (listed below) welcomed Justice Geoffrey Venning’s ruling to throw out the claim by the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (CSET, a small group of climate change “sceptics”) that NIWA had acted fraudulently in putting together its ‘7-station’ temperature series.

Spokesperson for the group, Associate Professor James Renwick of Victoria University said he was pleased that the court had respected and reaffirmed the credibility of the scientific process. It was a strong message to those wanting to challenge widely-agreed scientific findings to do so honestly and openly in scientific forums.

Dr Renwick went on to say “Scientific analysis and discussion is carried out through the peer-reviewed literature. The basic science of climate change (global warming) has been established for well over a century, and almost all scientists active in climate research agree that human activity is causing the climate to change. For a small group of scientists to appeal to a court of law to find otherwise is bizarre.”

New Zealand temperatures have warmed by about 1°C in the last 100 years, associated with loss of glacier ice in the Southern Alps, reduced frost occurrence, and other changes. Globally, evidence of climate change includes sea-level rise, melting glaciers, and rapidly diminishing arctic sea ice. 

The court case has helped raise the profile of the claimants. Much more importantly, the case represents a massive waste of New Zealand tax payer’s funds. In defending the claim, NIWA has spent a huge amount (estimated at well over $100,000) and has diverted a number of its scientists away from their research. The country can ill afford to waste such an amount. “This misguided action of a small group adds confusion to a simple issue – the world is warming and future generations of New Zealanders will have to deal with the consequences” Dr Renwick said.

Decision is here:


13 thoughts on “BREAKING: Epic fail for deniers in New Zealand NIWA climate record challenge

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    There was some talk from Anthony (I’m not a climatologist even though I like to tell people I am) Cox over at Geoffrey’s about this case a while ago. He seemed to think mentioning that there was a case in progress was evidence supporting his and his crazy party’s position. I’ll have to dig for it but I’m sure he hinted that a similar case could be brought against the BoM here. I remember thinking at the time “please do”. I wonder if, since they are so adamant that the BoM is fraudulant, if they’ll have the kahunas to try it on in our courts? Probably no chance now, which is a shame.

    • Nick says:

      Cox/Cohenite hasn’t a clue about the case. I noticed on a thread at Jo Nova’s some time back that he didn’t have a clue what NIWA’s 11 Station Series was [a raw data series that shows warming with no station overlap with the 7SS] even while it is mentioned in the court’s dealings.

  2. john byatt says:

    Just when you thought that this conspiracy could not possibly get any bigger, The high court of NZ is now in on it,

    was also on Jo nova and that silly old bugger from NZ had a post on TCS

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      I’ll do a larger post on it later. With links, to Jo and every sceptic blog that talked about it 🙂

  3. uknowispeaksense says:

    My prediction Mike and its a no-brainer.

    They will either pretend it didn’t happen or claim the courts are in on the scam.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      I predict both. In the same sentence: “While warmists will try and make a big deal out of this “defeat” the…um… look, Anthony Watts has a new paper!!!!”

    • Nick says:

      U predicted it right! Jo Nova is claiming that the courts and government are “effectively working together”….

  4. john byatt says:

    NIWA brings up three pages at TCS

    page one

    Legal Action against AGW – The Climate Sceptics Blog
    Jul 04, 2012
    In New Zealand there is an ongoing legal action against the government producer of the New Zealand temperature record, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research Limited [NIWA]. Researchers found the …
    Finkelstein and Dick Smith. – The Climate Sceptics Blog
    Jul 25, 2012
    In New Zealand the temperature record is prepared by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research LTD [NIWA], which is their equivalent of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology [BOM].The New Zealand temperature …
    HOURLY TEMPERATURE CHANGE – The Climate Sceptics Blog
    Aug 23, 2012
    The averages for all 24 stations are shown, and in addition, the averages for the “Seven Station Series3” which is used by NIWA as a substitute for an overall average for New Zealand.. . One might note that some of the figures …
    The NO CARBON TAX Climate Sceptics Blog: NZCLIMATE TRUTH …
    Jan 11, 2011
    This is confirmed if the so-called “raw figures” for seven selected New Zealand weather stations, available from are plotted as “anomalies” compared with the 1971-2000 average as follows. Yet, it is …

    cox should in there somewhere

  5. Sammy Jankis says:


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