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


Nats’ science policy “A disgrace”

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Research, Science and Technology

2 October 2008
Embargoed till 5:30pm Media Release
Nats’ science policy “A disgrace”

The National Party science policy came in for some trenchant criticism today with Minister of Research Science and Technology Pete Hodgson labelling it “a disgrace”.

“I find it hard to believe that any major political party would be stupid enough to abolish the New Zealand: Fast Forward fund of $700m,” Pete Hodgson told the NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science political forum at Ruakura.

“This initiative has taken a lot of time and discussion to reach fruition. We are now at the point where nearly every major primary production sector has committed to co-invest, precisely because they can see that the government has put the money on the table up front.

“New Zealand: Fast Forward will lift our pastoral and food sectors to the next level. As a nation, we must improve our sustainability, we must address climate change, and we must produce new food products, food ingredients and nutriceuticals. We must also grow more internationally competitive companies such as Zespri or Fonterra and we must address skills shortages.

“New Zealand: Fast Forward is designed to do all that, and to do it in partnership with the primary sectors who will benefit.

“Scrapping the proposal is a disgrace; and the reason for National’s decision is even more disgraceful. Back in March when it was announced, National leader John Key, in an unguarded moment, called it “a gimmick”. National would prefer to ditch New Zealand: Fast Forward than have its leader do yet another U turn.

“But the price of that one stupid remark is that primary producers, deep down, would have less certainty of National’s commitment because any government funding would have to be won year on year. Inevitably private sector commitment would quietly evaporate and the chance to achieve a step-change in the engine room of our economy would be lost.

“National’s public rational for scrapping the scheme doesn’t bear the slightest scrutiny. They say that the scope of the fund is limited to R&D, when it is not. They say that private sector funding won’t be new and additional, when it will be. They say the fund will not use existing R&D infrastructure when it will.”


© 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>>




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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


(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>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election