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Labour’s claims on fund a facade

David Carter MP
National Party Agriculture Spokesman
& Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Research, Science & Technology Spokesman

5 April 2008

Labour’s claims on fund a facade

Labour’s claims about its much-trumpeted innovation fund have been exposed as a façade bereft of critical structural substance, say National’s Agriculture spokesman, David Carter and the party’s Research, Science & Technology spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

The pair are referring to the responses of Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton to a series of written questions on the fund.

“I am horrified at the lack of substance, detail and planning that Jim Anderton has revealed,” says Mr Carter.

“This comes on top of his fudging around the level of funding due to go into the scheme.”

Jim Anderton has confirmed that:

• The specific structure has yet to be formulated.

• The investment strategy and priorities have yet to be worked out.

• The intellectual property aspects have yet to be worked out.

• The precise workings of the fund including ‘how it will work’ are still being worked on by officials.

“This is confirmation that Labour and Jim Anderton grossly over-cooked the detail that had gone into the scheme and, that behind the scenes, officials were running around like headless chooks,” says Mr Carter.

“This is a huge slap in the face for the primary sector which has been severely neglected by Labour for years.

“At least Labour has finally recognised its lack of commitment to and funding of agricultural research over the past nine years.”

Dr Hutchison says the policy-on-the-hoof approach is unbelievable given the importance of the issue.

“It’s very clear now that the timetable set by the Government is not credible. At each level, the structural, scientific, intellectual property and marketing considerations require enormous work which hasn’t been done.”

David Carter and Paul Hutchison say National will unveil its own plan for a real step-change in investment in science, technology and research and development in the coming months.

“We will make long-term funding commitments which provide real certainty to the sector.”


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