Reform of science system to build better future for New Zealand

Research, Science and Innovation

The Government has set the direction for a future-focused science system says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall.

Our research, science and innovation system will be geared towards tackling New Zealand’s big challenges such as climate change, environmental degradation and the complex health and problems that undermine wellbeing.

“To address these challenges we will need to shift from a system with multiple small entities and strategies to one in which we focus our efforts on nationally significant priorities.

“These priorities will promote greater impact from science by building stronger connections between researchers and the people that will ultimately make use of their innovation including industry, government, iwi and communities.

“The transition to a high-wage low emissions economy will require focused and sustained investment in new technologies and industries.

“A range of measures will form part of the future direction including a stronger focus on people, with an emphasis on building sustainable and fulfilling career paths in science, improving diversity and addressing precarious employment.

“The system will become better for those working within it. Part of that will include releasing researchers from unproductive competition for grants and enabling them to focus on converting their great ideas into solutions that can make significant impact.

“We will embed Te Tiriti and be more responsive to Māori and Pacific Peoples to improve the wealth and resilience of those communities.

“The White Paper released today follows an earlier Green Paper, which received a wide-range of feedback from over 800 submissions and a further 27 workshops held during the consultation process. 

“It is important we get these changes right. We are committed to working with all parts of the research, science and innovation sector, and in partnership with Māori and Pacific peoples as we bring the reforms to life,” Dr Verrall said.

The White Paper is available here.