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Amalgamation of agencies “eminently sensible"

Amalgamation of science agencies “eminently sensible”

The chairman of Science New Zealand, John Morgan, said the decision to go for a single agency on science research policy and funding was eminently sensible. He was commenting on the announcement by the Minister of State Services Commission, the Hon Tony Ryall, that the Government intends to amalgamate the Ministry of Research, Science & Technology and the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology as part of a wider review of state services.

Mr Morgan said:

“Science New Zealand supports the drive to improve efficiencies through reducing complexity, lowering operational cost, and getting better alignment of structure, purpose and desired outcomes.

“The ability to deal with one agency that can align government spending across the science sector will be very helpful for Crown Research Institutes and other research organisations. There are clear advantages in having a single agency dealing with both long term funding and contestable funding, having strategic overview, and being able to implement in line with the government’s science priorities.

“The new entity brings together the policy knowledge and experience of the Ministry of Research Science & Technology with the intimate knowledge of science funding process held by the Foundation of Research Science & Technology. The combination, in a new format, will create a very strong support for Government’s initiatives, and in ensuring that New Zealand maximises benefits from our national science investment.

“The move reflects the recommendations from the recent CRI Taskforce to have a national RS&T system that is less complex, easier to engage with and clearer about accountabilities and responsibilities. Science New Zealand and its members will be very supportive in any way possible as the new arrangements are settled in.

“The move also reflects the intent, set out in the Government’s RS&T Priorities paper, to shift resource to the front line of science research and application. Reducing wasteful bidding and eliminating overlapping engagement and monitoring by multiple agencies frees the time and energy of scientists and technicians for their work of vital importance to New Zealand.”

ENDS

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