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Kiwi taxpayers funding Australian innovation

Labour Leader

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Kiwi taxpayers funding Australian innovation

New Zealand could lose a generation of its best and brightest unless the Government gets serious about funding the science and innovation sector, Labour leader Phil Goff says.

“A report that reveals hundreds of Kiwi scientists may have no option but to head offshore in search of job opportunities illustrates National’s complete lack of support for the very people this country desperately needs to hang on to.

“The Government has talked long and hard about catching up with Australia. Yet month after month record numbers of Kiwis are heading across the Tasman,” Phil Goff said.

“Innovation is our future. It is potentially one of the biggest wealth creating sectors we have. Without investment in it we will only fall further behind Australia. We can’t close any gaps if all our scientists are living across the ditch.

“It is crucial the brain drain doesn’t continue. New Zealand scientists have been at the cutting edge of some ground-breaking research. We can’t lose that.

“Support of and investment in the sector is crucial. It sets the stage for future growth. Yet despite all the Government’s talk about retaining and attracting talent in the science and technology area this year’s budget included no new commitment to doing that. We currently spend less on R and D than most other countries.

“Labour will take action to retain our smart, skilled and creative workforce. That means having a long-term plan that supports our scientists and our innovative companies. National is a failing badly on both.

“We will invest in R&D and in creating a clever economy that will benefit all Kiwis,” Phil Goff said.


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