Industry should be less reliant on Govt
11 March 2008
IPENZ - Pastoral & food industry
should be less reliant on Govt
IPENZ believes Governments $700 million R&D fund for New Zealand’s food and pastoral industries is necessary and valuable but thinks the sector should take greater responsibility to ensure its future viability and growth.
“The Government is investing $700 million in a sector that is enjoying some of the highest commodity prices and benefits of capital gains in recent years, surely this sector can fund more of its own research?” says Dr Cleland. “It appears that industries in this sector are only expected to match the Government funding, but with record profits for some of the sector, perhaps they should be able to double or triple the Government investment,” says Andrew Cleland, IPENZ Chief Executive.
“It’s a pity that the pastoral and food sector has lost opportunities to utilise more of their recent high returns on research into making them environmentally and economically sustainable, rather than relying on the Government,” says Dr Cleland. “These are mature industries that can be expected to look after themselves to a much great extent.”
“Whilst a well performing biological sector will ensure that New Zealand drops no further down the OECD league table, we also need a major focus on creating high skill jobs in our major urban centres, if we are to get back to the top half of the league table” he says. “The food industry can only create a small fraction of those jobs.”
“We look forward to hearing of new Government strategies for investing in our manufacturing, ICT and design industries. They do not get the benefits of capital gains, like the pastoral sector, yet are essential for prosperity in our major cities. ”