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The Government refuses to help keep scientists in NZ

Research Science and Technology

8 September 2011

The Government refuses to help keep scientists in New Zealand

The Government today ruled out restoring the post-doctoral scholarships that it cut in 2010, David Shearer Labour’s Science, Research and Technology spokesperson says.

“In Parliament today National said ‘no’ to an appeal by more than 500 scientists who sent a letter to Minister of Science and innovation Dr Wayne Mapp insisting that this money be restored,” David Shearer said.

“The letter said that the disestablishment of post-doctoral fellowships in 2010 meant New Zealand’s brightest young scientists in mid-career are being forced to look for work overseas,.

“The Government’s rejection to an appeal by our top scientists is shocking.

“These fellowships have helped develop the careers of hundreds of leading Kiwi scientists and Wayne Mapp displayed a profound lack of foresight in removing this support.

“Instead, Wayne Mapp’s response is to order a review on this issue – a situation which is entirely of his own making.

“Fiddling around with yet another review is a waste of money at a time when the World Economic Forums Global Competitiveness rankings released today show New Zealand continuing to slide due to our poor investment in innovation.

“This is the reality New Zealanders face as National continues to underinvest in research science and technology. Vote Science and Innovation decreased by $14 million in the 2011/12 budget compared to the previous year.

“The lack of money for science is in stark contrast to last year’s bold talk by John Key who announced that investment in science ‘will not only keep New Zealand competitive, but is at the heart of our strategy to boost economic growth’.

“The sad reality is that National has no strategy for future economic growth,” David Shearer said.


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