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Damning report on Labour's science record

Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Research, Science & Technology Spokesman

14 April 2008

Damning report on Labour's science record

The National Science Panel's report issued today is a damning indictment on Labour's record over science policy, says National's Research, Science & Technology spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison.

The report - A Science Manifesto - concludes that 'science policy over the past decade in New Zealand has resulted in a gradual disempowerment of science and scientists...New Zealand needs a deeper pool of research knowledge, ideas and opportunities, we need to retain excellent people. We need to build critical mass'.

"This report is sensible and sobering. It demonstrates how badly Labour has failed to live up to its rhetoric or to the aspirations of the Knowledge Wave Trust from 2001.

"It is very serious when our country's most eminent scientists declare that after more than eight years of a Labour Government, science has ceased to play a leading role in shaping the nation's future."

Dr Hutchison says compliance costs that are being foisted on the industry have been so paralysing that the President of the Royal Society of NZ has told a group of MPs that for every government dollar in science, only 50 cents reaches the lab bench.

"Labour has continually promised that science funding would be a priority, yet public funding has gone down as a percentage of GDP.

"The public should be cynical about Labour's election-year promises. Helen Clark's government has failed to recognise the true scale of the investment that this country must make, and the need for these commitments to be long term."


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