The third part of Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand contains an index of all the 11,628 correlations considered in the writing of the first two parts of the book. There are so many of these that the index has to go to three decimal places in order to properly distinguish them from each other. Even then, there are some pairs of variables that are so perfectly uncorrelated that they go down to weaker than 0.000 – as this article examines.
This data was collected from the Electorate Profiles that can be found on the Parliamentary Library website, and then entered into a Statistica database from which a correlation matrix was calculated. These ten pairs of variables represent the least correlated things in New Zealand society.
9=. 0.0007, Voting New Zealand First in 2014 and Being of European descent
New Zealand First gets much more support from Maori electorates than most people realise. Their level of support among Maoris declined in 2017 but in 2014 it was strong enough that there was no correlation between voting New Zealand First and being white.
9=. -0.0007, Voting Internet MANA in 2014 and Having an income between $60-70K
Internet MANA voters were a fair bit poorer than average, and so there is no correlation between voting for them in 2014 and having a slightly higher than average income.
8. -0.0006, Having NZQA Level 2 as a highest academic qualification and Working as a sales worker
Leaving school at the end of Sixth Form is a middling sort of academic achievement, and being a sales worker is an extremely common line of employment.
7. 0.0005, Being a Brethren and Working in public administration and safety
Brethrens are indifferent to working for the Government.
6. -0.0004, Voting Internet Party in 2017 and Being a Spiritualist or New Ager
Internet Party voters are young and mostly live in Auckland; Spiritualists and New Agers are a bit older and are distributed reasonably evenly throughout the country.
3=. 0.0003, Voting to change the flag in the second flag referendum and Being in a couple with children
Couples with children probably have more important things to think about than a flag referendum, which was only ever a vanity project for the elderly elite with leisure time.
3=. -0.0003, Being a Christian (not further defined) and Being a sales worker
Christians, when not further defined, are generally a bit poorer than average, and sales workers are moderately wealthy, hence no correlation.
3=. -0.0003, Being a Pacific Islander and Being on the invalid’s benefit
Pacific Islanders are stereotyped as being on the benefit a lot, but the truth is that the sort of Pacific Islander who wanted to go on the invalid’s benefit probably wouldn’t be motivated to immigrate to New Zealand in the first place.
1=. -0.0001, Voting Internet MANA in 2014 and Taking a bus to work
Internet MANA voters in 2014 tended to live in the Far North, and those who lived in Auckland often took a bus to work, the others not so much.
1=. -0.0001, Being a regular tobacco smoker and Being a sales worker
There are no more middle-of-the-road variables than being a regular tobacco smoker and being a sales worker. Both traits point to a very normal, standard sort of person, hence no correlation.