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Govt must justify special Maori science funding


Dr Paul Hutchison MP National Science Spokesman

17 January 2003

Govt must justify special science funding for Maori

The National Party's calling on the Government to justify the special science funding it plans to allocate to projects benefiting Maori.

"Spending on a particular ethnic group without public debate and in circumstances where New Zealand's total spend on science is significantly below the OECD average, is of great concern," says National's Science spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison.

"The Government's planning to increase research spending on 'Maori Science' to between 5% and 10% of the $280 million allocated by the Foundation of Research, Science & Technology.

"On the one hand the Labour Government claims science and innovation is a national priority, but the reality is that in their first term the yearly amount spent on R & D as a percentage of GDP has actually gone down.

"So far I've seen no compelling reason why scarce funding for science should not be handed out according to the same principles as all research, and that's on merit," says Dr Hutchison.

Ends

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