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Science And Technology Crucial To Economic Growth

July 8, 2002

The PSA agrees with the Minister of Research, Science and Technology that New Zealand depends on effective science and technological development to enable it to grow economically, but the industry must have a stable and certain funding base, PSA national secretary Bryce Fleury said today.

“The high profile debate surrounding the GE issue during the election campaign is one indication of the importance of having expert researchers and scientists working in what are highly specialised areas.”

“Our members working in Crown Research Institutes will welcome the Minister’s announcement today concerning the limitations of contestable funding, as the use of this funding model in science can lead to experienced scientists losing their jobs and is a disincentive for graduates looking at their career options.”

Bryce Fleury said the funding model meant that every year around a third of the total funding for public science is reviewed by the Foundation of Research Science and Technology. For some Crown Research Institutes this can mean that more than half of their programmes are up for re-consideration.

“The Minister’s references to a more co-operative funding approach and to increasing public science funding will be welcomed by our members working in CRIs, but who remain sceptical following the cut of $5 million in Hortresearch this year.”

[ends]

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