Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

National's 'psychic energy' science policy

Hon Jim Anderton


Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

9 September 2008 Media Statement

National's 'psychic energy' science policy

Research and science are so important for New Zealand that the country cannot afford national's intention to scrap New Zealand Fast Forward and reduce research and development tax credits, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today.

"National's policy would be a devastating blow to innovation, to business in general and to our primary industries in particular. It is the kind of science policy you would have if you think New Zealand's research and development needs can be taken care of by psychic energy.

"New Zealand desperately needs to increase productivity. The $700 million Fast Forward Fund is the single-largest investment ever made in the innovation we need to lift productivity and New Zealand's living standards. Matched by private sector investment, the Fund would grow over time to be worth as much as two billion dollars. National proposes to scrap that.

"The fund gives the private sector confidence that the government's commitment will continue. The private sector is therefore giving its own commitment to increase its expenditure. There is no way that commitment would be forthcoming if we just increased the annual budget of a couple of CRIs.

"National is also replacing the R&D tax credit for business investment in research with a small grant to CRIs. They say too many people have started doing research.

"National needs to know that New Zealand's problem is not that we have too much research and development; our problem is that we have too little.

"National is proposing the greatest leap backwards in science since the Catholic Church tried Galileo. It is the kind of science policy you would come up with if you think the sun revolves around the earth.

"Its indicative alternative policy ignores the private sector contribution to NZ Fast Forward innovation, which more than doubles the size of the fund. It would not go ahead under National's policy. It also ignores the existing contribution of $2.5 million a year the government makes to the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, that is matched by industry."

Jim Anderton said the business organisations that have signed up as foundation partners for Fast Forward include Dairy NZ, Fonterra, Meat and Wool NZ, Meat Industry Association, PGG Wrightsons, and Zespri. Aquaculture NZ has announced it intends to sign up.

"Dairy NZ chair John Luxton said investment in innovation was crucial for agricultural science.

"Fonterra said the New Zealand Fast Forward fund will enable New Zealand to build on our competitive advantage in agriculture and food production.

"The Meat Industry Association said Fast Forward will make a significant contribution to ensuring New Zealand's long history of world-leading innovation in the pastoral sector would continue and grow our international competitiveness. It said Fast Forward has been innovative through both the recognition of commercial outcomes as the driving force behind innovation; and in its recognition that government, industry-good organisations and individual companies have investment interests at different parts of the R&D spectrum.

"PGG Wrightsons saw Fast Forward as an opportunity to take a leadership role in assisting farm clients to drive innovative, technological products to enable them to take their part in the marketplace of tomorrow.

"Zespri said it strongly supported the New Zealand Fast Forward initiative, which aligned with its strategy of investing in the necessary research and development to grow the industry.

"These businesses are the backbone of New Zealand's economy and National has told them all that they are wrong."


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election