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

 


Science Challenges get a D minus

Science Challenges get a D minus

Steven Joyce’s $1.3 billion National Science Challenges have been handed a resounding fail grade from the country’s leading scientists, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development Spokesperson Megan Woods.

A survey released today by the NZAS slammed the Minister’s flagship initiative. It showed overwhelming dissatisfaction with the whole process behind the National Science Challenges and little confidence in the Challenges ability to deliver. The scientists also believe that that this billion dollar plus investment over 10 years is not even aligned to science objectives.

“This survey must be a wake-up call to the Minister of Science and Innovation. It makes harrowing reading and should leave him in no doubt that he has got it wrong.

“There is no option for New Zealand to get this wrong. These challenges are going to consume $1.3 billion of science funding. Money has been recycled from all over the science system into them. $641 million (over 10 years) of Crown Research Institutes Core funding and up to $306.5 million of contestable funding is being swallowed up into the Challenges that our leading scientists are telling us they have little to no faith in.

“Labour has previously raised concerns about the out of control administrative and governance costs of the challenges. These costs scattered across the science and research sector which our calculations have already put at well over $4 million already. To hear today that in the Biological Heritage challenge alone, there is around $1m per year assigned to governance, but only around $2m to the science program is simply absurd.

“The very people who are tasked with delivering these Challenges are calling them the Novopay of the science world. To read the comments is alarming. We have a scientists with over 20 years-experience in the NZ system, telling us that no initiative has done more to promote distrust, waste time and work against cooperation within the science community. Something has to be done.

“A Labour Government will not let our science system fail. We will listen to the suggestions of our country’s leading scientists. We will look to build on the success of respected funding bodies such as the Marsden Fund. A sensible approach could be to use challenge funds to establish a companion contestable fund for applied research that could also be administered by the Royal Society.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries:
Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

If you’re not enrolled now, you need to hurry or you won’t be able to vote in this Saturday’s general election.

“Election day is almost here, and it’s your last chance to enrol,” says Murray Wicks, National Manager, Enrolment Services. “It’s not too late, but you need to do it right now.”

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news