Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts