Future Pathways consultation important to Aotearoa New Zealand’s future
The Government’s Green Paper - Future Pathways (Te Ara Paerangi) - opens an important set of discussions says Science New Zealand chief executive Anthony Scott.
“As so many reviews have confirmed over the years, there are very many positive elements to New Zealand’s science and innovation system. At its heart are outstanding research and technical staff working with communities, iwi and hapu, industry and sectors around the motu and globally.
They are backed by the strengths of different institutional types including Crown Research Institutes, universities, wānanga and other research organisations.
“There is, however, opportunity to do more and better. Our future economic, environmental, social and cultural prosperity depends upon it. The Government’s commitment to lifting national R&D expenditure to 2 per cent of GDP, and possibly beyond, is a welcome step.
“Other change is also needed. In a recent report to Government the CRIs asked: how can the RS&I system turbo-charge the creation of new wealth and greater wellbeing for Aotearoa New Zealand?
“We identified two key elements at the national level:
“First, we said that efficiency across the system is important – but effectiveness is vital. Our system is already highly efficient at knowledge creation, as the OECD points out. The biggest opportunity for Aotearoa New Zealand lies in converting more of the existing and new scientific knowledge into impact.
“Second, we said that this could be achieved with coordinated strategic engagement between Government, research organisations, industries/sectors and Māori – what we call the ‘quadruple helix’. So it is pleasing to see the Green Paper also including a focus on the tremendous value of Māori knowledge, insights and leadership.
“By working together to identify key priorities, actions and resources needed to meet the issues and opportunities, we can collectively accelerate the benefits of science and innovation to Aotearoa New Zealand. This also enables dynamic, resilient and future-focussed approaches.
“The Green Paper will, we hope, open a rich discussion and engage a broad range of society. We encourage staff, customers and partners to join us in that discussion.
“The seven Crown Research Institutes and crown agency, Callaghan Innovation, comprising Science New Zealand will take time to carefully consider the Green Paper and form our views.”
Reports: The two Science New Zealand reports (September 2021) are:
Members: Science New Zealand comprises the seven Crown Research Institutes: AgResearch, ESR, GNS Science, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, NIWA, Plant & Food Research and Scion. The Crown agency Callaghan Innovation is an associate member.
CRIs are the major full-time research and applications groups in their areas of expertise, providing research and services supporting the private, public and community sectors. They have over 3750 staff (FTE) in sites across the nation, many of which are shared with other research organisations; annual revenues of over $805 million; and attract three of every four dollars in R&D that businesses contract externally.