Counting for nothing


The on-line registration form wanted to know what area of business I was in.

The options were:

Accountancy & tax advice; aerospace and defence; automobiles; banking; basic resources/mining; chemicals/comms/publishing/media; consulting/business services; education/academia; energy/utilities; engineering/construction; financial services/food and beverages; fund/asset management; government/ public service/NGO; health and pharmaceuticals/IT/computing; industrial goods and services; insurance; personal & household goods; property; retail; telecommunications; transport/logistics; travel & leisure.

Obviously this organisation thinks agriculture and other areas of primary production count for nothing.

A few days later another form gave a more comprehensive list which included agriculture and some unpaid work:

Professional or senior government official; business manager or executive; business proprietor or self-employed; teacher, nurse police or other trained service worker; clerical or sales employee; farm owner or manager; technical or skilled worker; semi skilled worker; domestic worker, labourer or agricultural worker; home duties (not otherwise employed) student tertiary; student secondary; secondary primary/intermediate; retired/ superannuitent; unemployed/beneficiary; other not listed above.

Home duties (not otherwise employed)? Ah well I suppose it’s better than housewife/husband/person.

But it doesn’t take into account the unpaid work which people, usually but not only women, do outside the home, apropos of which Sandra thinks we need to ask some new questions.

We’ve made a lot of progress in accepting that women can have careers, but there has been little if any progress in recognising the importance of unpaid work which is so important in extended families and the wider community.

Would You Trust This Survey?


I was wondering how some of the people even made it to the list of most trusted New Zealanders when I read the fine print – respondents were asked to rate 85 well know people on a scale of 1 to 10 as to how much they trusted them.

The ranking which put VC winner Corporal Willie Apiata at number one (replacing the late Sir Ed Hillary) is here. Peter Snell, Colin Meads, Margaret Mahy and Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell follow him.

 The list of most trusted professions is here.

Farmers are the 13th most trusted occupation, between dentists and police officers in 11th equal place and scientists and chidlcare providers in 14th and 15th.

Journalists, sigh, are at 34; between taxi drivers and psychics/astrologers.  I’m not sure there is any comfort in ranking just above real estate agents, sex workers, car salesmen, politicians and telemarketers who take the 36th to 40th slots.

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