Wow! - Its Research, Science and Technology

  • Maurice Williamson
Research, Science and Technology

"It's time to wake up and smell the ammonia. We are in an economic environment that demands lower and more targeted government spending," Minister of Research, Science and Technology Hon Maurice Williamson said today.

Mr Williamson was speaking at the New Zealand Association of Scientists Awards Presentation in Wellington. The awards recognise excellence in science journalism and science communication by practising scientists.

In a message promoting the strategic importance of research, science and technology Mr Williamson called on the science community to raise public awareness of their work and the essential place it has to the future prosperity of New Zealand.

"Did Bill Gates sit around saying how things would be if Uncle Sam gave him a few bucks to do some research on Windows - I doubt it very much," the Minister said.

"The best opportunities for future growth in our innovation system lie with encouraging increased engagement by the private sector because that is where innovation can pay for itself.

"Finland is a role model for New Zealand in that it moved from being a commodity producer with a limited future to become a high-tech tiger.

"Instead of trotting out the holy grail of 0.8% of GDP government investment in the science envelope I want scientists to tell the story of New Zealand's science and technology playing the principal roles in our future prosperity," Mr Williamson said.