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Maharey misleads over science funding

Dr Paul Hutchison
National Party Research, Science & Technology Spokesman

2 July 2006

Maharey misleads over science funding

Science Minister Steve Maharey is misleading the public by re-announcing $61 million of Health Research Council funding, says National’s Science spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

“His ability to re-announce research money is reaching a dizzying level.

“This funding was announced in previous Budgets.

“And just last week at the select committee it was established that the real increase for the whole Vote Research, Science and Technology was just $19.37 million.

“This is despite last year’s Speech from the Throne in which the Government said science was ‘critical’ to driving New Zealand’s prosperity.

“In the context of Labour’s billion-dollar spend on Working for Families and its billion-dollar write-off of student loan interest, $19.37million is a meagre amount for something they say they regard as critical.

“Steve Maharey is also trying to claim credit for something his Government has no right to claim.

“He said during the re-announcement of the $61 million that research funded by the Health Research Council ‘can also have important commercial spin-offs for New Zealand’, and pointed to successful research by the Liggins Institute as an example.

“What he neglected to say was that none of the 11 applications by the Liggins Institute this year have received any funding.

“Labour’s spending on research and development as a proportion of GDP has remained unchanged since they came into office.

“Their rhetoric does not match what they are doing in practice.”

Ends

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