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Expect National to back research funding boost

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, March 11th, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: election 2008, national - Tags: ,

At lunchtime today it is expected that the government will announce a major funding boost to promote innovation in food science, agricultural research and production.

So can we expect National to support the plan? At least Mr Key has been given the heads up to get an answer sorted out (unlike last week’s shakey non-answers over National’s position on the sale of Auckland Airport shares).

If we at what Mr Key has said in the past we can look forward to their embracing the funding boost:

Key: “… one of the ways to ensure that we get high levels of productivity that we really drive the economic performance is through R&D and funding, government funding of that R&D and I think when you have an industry that represents around about 20 percent of your economy, the overwhelming bulk of your exports, then the government of the day should be backing it. A National government would.” (NZ Farming Show, 29 Mar 2007)

The questions will no doubt be how the money is divied out. We anticipate National will want to see funding able to be accessed by the private sector:

Key: ‘National would pour money into R&D. It would be on a contestable basis. You’d see the CRIs competing with the private providers.’ (Manawatu Standard, 13 Mar 2007)

We await the announcement and reactions with interest.

[Update: stuck between adopting the policy and being John ‘me-too’ Key again or rejecting it and being inconsistant ‘Slippery Key’, Key has gone with slipperiness. National calls $700 million for research and development of our core exports “a gimmick“]

18 comments on “Expect National to back research funding boost ”

  1. Benodic 1

    Key will adopt the policy. The public won’t care. And business will still moan about lack of government support. Good policy though.

  2. highstandard 2


    Agreed, have to see the nature of the fund but would be surprised if National don’t support it. Would also support that it should be accessable by the private sector it would be bizarre if the funds were for the private sector only.

    captcha elected mourn … are you taking the piss

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Key will say that he strongly supports this move, and will claim that Labour stole the idea from National. At exactly the same time, English will condemn this “extravagant” increase in public spending, as an “election bribe”.

    This “misunderstanding” will later be clarified by the chief executive of APN.

  4. National will feel stung that the Government is giving money to farmers.

  5. gladfly 5

    The money for R&D for the agricultural sector ought to have come long ago, in part, from a contribution from farmers themselves, perhaps in the form of a reasonable per head of stock tax. Ha ha!

  6. insider 6

    More the question, why do they have to come up with these stupid brand names that usually will build more expectation than they fulfil?

    New Zealand Fast Forward
    Riding the knowledge wave
    The jobs machine
    Working for families

  7. mike 7

    Its only taken 9 years for them to act on this extremely important inovation. Must be an election coming up…

  8. I have to agree with you on that insider, but I still haven’t seen anything as silly as “Ambitious for New Zealand”

  9. Tane 9

    Well done mike. You’ve parroted Farrar’s lines faithfully.

  10. insider 10


    How about top half of the OECD, growth and innovation strategy and carbon neutral?

  11. Nah, “Ambitious” is still the silliest.

  12. mike 12

    Thanks for that Tane. I also agree that “Cullen also is probably desperately trying to reduce the cash surplus, so he can attack National’s tax cuts as unaffordable”

    Sod: ‘economic tansformation’, ‘closing the gaps’, ’20 hrs free (not)’are surley sillier

  13. insider 13

    blandest perhaps. I vote carbon neutral for silliest followed by top half of the OECD in 10 years

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    insider. the jobs machine/ jobs jolt worked. look at what happened to unemployment after it – kiwiblogblog did a story on it. And working for families works real well for a number of families I know.

  15. Tane 15

    Same goes with 20 hrs free. Once the activist private centres pulled their heads in it rolled out pretty smoothly around the country. When’s the last time you saw a National Party release attacking the scheme?

    And it’s working. A friend of mine saves $70 a week on childcare thanks to the 20 hours free policy.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    It looks like there’s been a very positive reaction all round to this move. For example:

    “Former senior National Cabinet minister John Luxton, who is now involved in the pastoral sector, says the Government is to be applauded for the initiative. Mr Luxton says the drivers of the New Zealand economy are in the primary sector and he says money being invested in improving the quality of our exports is to be welcomed.”

    (Newstalk ZB)

    Oh, hang on. It’s been dismissed as a “gimmick” by, er, National:


    John, call John.

  17. Ari 17

    I love the way he’s disappointed that Labour has apparently “taken so long” to do this, yet he doesn’t even have a policy on it yet.

    If you can’t beat Labour to the punch when you don’t even have to implement your policy afterwards, National, you have no right to call them slow on the draw.

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