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Taskforce report sound and constructive

Crown Research Institutes say Taskforce Report provides sound and constructive path forward

The chairman of Science New Zealand and CEO of NIWA, Mr John Morgan, says the CRI Taskforce has done a great job in identifying the issues and solutions, and has provided the Government with a sound and constructive path forward.

“The CRI Taskforce has presented the most comprehensive review of the value of CRIs in our near 20-year history. They have concluded we do a great job for New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wealth and wellbeing – but could do a better job still if certain areas were addressed.

“They identify three big issues: the need for simpler funding systems; the need for Government to be clear about its expectations of us; and issues around governance when multiple lines of accountability exist.

“We think they have got it right, and have proposed sensible solutions.

“They recommend a balance of contestable and core-purpose funding so as to best meet both New Zealand’s immediate needs and longer term requirements; recommend renewed focus on benefiting New Zealand rather than excessive concern with our own balance sheet; and recommend the need for clear lines of accountability and responsibility sheeted home to Boards and through Boards to management.

“The result will be less time spent in excessive and complex bidding, monitoring and evaluation, and more time spent on science. The performance measures will be very stringent, as they should be. This will ensure the best science relevant to New Zealand’s needs is developed and applied and that there are robust financial disciplines. We welcome that.

“We commend the Report’s conclusions to the Government, and believe that it can be readily implemented. We look forward to a positive response, and to helping unleash our fullest potential for New Zealand. That will be good for our staff and for the sectors and organisations with which we work.

“Importantly, this will lead to a new round of constructive engagement with those sectors and organisations. Clarity about our purpose and role will lead to fuller and more effective relationships. These will benefit the work they commission from us. It will also help as we work to identify and address the long term challenges and opportunities for New Zealand, to which our science can contribute.

“The Government clearly sees the raft of sciences undertaken by Crown Research Institutes as critical to its programme of economic growth, and raising New Zealanders’ living standards. We look forward to working with Government and our stakeholders on the path forward.”

ENDS

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