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

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing:
John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider.

The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.

It was hard work but in the end we kept more than 300 skilled and well-paid jobs in New Zealand. And we managed to benefit Air New Zealand and its workforce with productivity gains too... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news