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"Save Science Coalition" Launches To Oppose Cuts To Science In NZ

Today, a coalition is being launched to campaign against cuts to science and science funding in New Zealand. The Save Science Coalition is a group of organisations, including unions and scientific societies, with an interest in ensuring that New Zealand has a well-functioning and well-funded science and research system.

In addition to opposing cuts, the goals of the Save Science Coalition are to highlight and catalogue what is being lost through the current cuts; defend support for world-leading indigenous research including mātauranga Māori; and make the case for a foundation of support for public science and re-committing to a target of 2% of GDP to be invested in research and development in Aotearoa New Zealand.

"We know that investment in science and research creates future wealth for Aotearoa New Zealand, ensures we can address the challenges we face in Aotearoa New Zealand such as climate change, resilience, and our growing and aging population, and allows our country to prosper. We are concerned about large parts of the science workforce moving overseas to find work, which will take decades to reverse and rebuild," says Dr Lucy Stewart, spokesperson for the Save Science Coalition.

"This will have devastating impacts in areas where expert knowledge of our landscapes, hazards, ecosystems, and people is globally unique. We are particularly concerned about the harm cuts will cause to world-leading indigenous research, including rangahau mātauranga Māori which can only be done in Aotearoa New Zealand," says Stewart.

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The launch of the coalition follows ongoing government announcements, media stories, and cuts to public funding across the science sector. This includes the end of the National Science Challenges, shelving of Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways programme, removal of Wellington Science City funding, announcements about mass redundancies of science staff in government organisations, alongside other funding streams drying up for science organisations. This is compounded by the existing university funding crisis.

"Funding for science organisations comes from many different sources. To help the public appreciate the breadth of the current cuts, we are putting together a detailed document for the public about all of the recent funding cuts across the science sector," explains Stewart. "This government did not campaign on a platform of cuts to science. However - they are pressing ahead with an agenda that the New Zealand public did not vote for."

The Save Science Coalition members are:

- New Zealand Association of Scientists

- Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi

- Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union

- Academic Freedom Aotearoa

- NZ Society of Endocrinology

- NZ Ecological Society

- NZCTU | Te Kauae Kaimahi

- Physiological Society of New Zealand

- New Zealand Institute of Forestry

- Geoscience Society of New Zealand

- Aviation and Marine Engineers Society

- NZEI Te Riu Roa

- New Zealand Institute of Chemistry

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