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Selling-off ideas to Oz, our loss



Associate Science and Innovation Spokesperson

28 August 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Selling-off ideas to Oz, our loss

Reports that Callaghan Innovation is considering licencing the manufacturing rights of Kiwistar Optics to a company owned by the Australian Government is a huge blow for New Zealand’s struggling manufacturing sector, says Labour’s Associate Science & Innovation spokesperson Megan Woods.

“Selling-off our brightest ideas to Australia, despite significant taxpayer investment doesn’t make any sense.

“Callaghan Innovation recently dropped support for research-based astronomical optical equipment supplier Kiwistar Optics, in a narrowing of focus to support only market-ready projects.

“Steven Joyce may say Callaghan Innovation is ‘looking for a range of options’, but my understanding is that the company has been forced to sell or licence its intellectual property to the Australian Government Owned Astronomical Observatory despite having received $1.4 million in taxpayer money.

“This is no way to foster innovation. Kiwistar Optics has proven itself to be a highly valuable company for New Zealand based on great kiwi science.

“This isn’t just about poor management of taxpayer money it’s about losing kiwi intellectual property offshore.

Labour’s priority is to ensure New Zealand’s future is built on a solid foundation of high-value, high-skill investments.

“We need to support our high value manufacturers. Investment in world class science such as this is vital. If the Government is committed to backing New Zealand innovation and our manufacturing sector, Callaghan Innovation would be right in there backing Kiwistar Optics.


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