web analytics

Political science

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 am, May 20th, 2013 - 31 comments
Categories: Economy, science - Tags:

As I/S pointed out yesterday, the Government’s “innovation” agenda is nothing more than a cuts to R&D and hidden subsidies.

Today in the Herald that’s confirmed by the Associations of Scientists President, Shaun Hendy.

there is also a strong primary sector flavour to several challenges and the primary sector is already the benefactor of a large share of our current spending on science.

“Did the public really want to fund more research aimed at further exploitation of our marine environment? Surely that is something that the private sector could fund.”

It shouldn’t be surprising. National have a habit of approaching every political decision with a primary question in mind – “how can we transfer wealth to our mates?”. We’ve seen it with the ETS subsidies, with the Warners Deal, with the tax cuts, with the privatisation agenda, and now we’re seeing it in science.

And as with most of National’s dealings (for example) this rewarding of mates it the product of backroom lobbying:

Professor Hendy was also concerned over what he saw as a lack of transparency in the process used to set the challenges, which he felt lent itself to lobbying by institutions.

R&D is critical to New Zealand maintaining its wealth and standard of living into the 21st century. Indeed there are few things more important for our economy in the medium to long term/ And National is f**king it up with short-term politicking. A blighted future for sure.

31 comments on “Political science ”

  1. in yr pic..i think you’ve given him a longer finger ‘finger’ than he deserves..

    phillip ure..

  2. the central scutinizer 2

    It is that long. It needs to be so he can pick his ever growing nose.

  3. MrSmith 3

    We all know the Nats just hate those pesky scientists getting in the way of the continued destruction and pollution of our environment for profit, on one hand they cry science will save us, but on the other hand science and scientists can be a bloody nuisance when they point out things like nearly half of New Zealand’s lakes and 90% of the country’s lowland rivers are polluted.

    • prism 3.1

      Trouble is the country as a whole is over-educated. Commercial television and radio are helping to anaethesitise brains but there are still vestiges of pesky thought and ideas left. /sarc

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        What education level is appropriate for an economy based on flipping burgers, stacking shelves, herding cows and vacuuming offices?

        • Tim

          Apparently a degree of some sort so that the whole student loan/international student/’keep the buggers in debt’ fiasco can be kept going.

          • prism

            Nice little earner for gummint! Adds to the GDP figures too. We need more of it, and perhaps more earthquakes seeing we are bereft of thinking other things up as viable business. (Just had one near Blenheim 3.8 so could be a goer.)

            • fender

              Yeah Double Dipton is supposedly the ‘envy of the world’ due to an earthquake adding around 2% to growth, great work Bill.

        • aerobubble

          Companies by law require a board to oversee them. Its obvious that the lack of a board to oversee govt (an upper chamber) has given to much power to the executive branch of government. Now intelligence in NZ isn’t very high since the implications, the results, of all the poor government, its haste, its use of urgency, its poor legislation, and now laws that breach human rights, all are tied up with the lack of a chamber to peruse the work of government.
          NZ is a hollowed out economy because its too easy to corrupt parliament and select winners, whether property developers, leaky home wood suppliers, or finance companies. What goo
          is a world class education system that produce people who can’t see the need for oversight, well what happens is the CTV building, the pike river mine, the exodus of skilled NZ, and the second worse fiscal position in the world, with private debt running decision making in Wellington.

          • alwyn

            “the second worst fiscal position in the world”
            Please tell us which ONE is worse. I am quite unable to decide as there are at scores I can think of that are worse than New Zealand.
            Which, oh which is your one and only?

            • ghostrider888

              Here. , courtesy of Poission.

              • alwyn

                That doesn’t seem to be a terribly relevant statistic given it is comparing 2007 and 2010 and doesn’t really seem to be relevant to Fiscal Policy.
                If you are really talking about Fiscal Policy I would have thought a rather more relevant number would have been Public debt as a percentage of GDP.
                I suggest you might like to consider the following reference.
                This gives, for 2012, thefigures of public debt to GDP.
                New Zealand was at 40.21%
                I haven’t looked at all the figures but counting the countries that start with an A, B or C I got to 20 of them.
                Second worse? Tripe.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Its obvious that the lack of a board to oversee govt (an upper chamber) has given to much power to the executive branch of government.

            An upper chamber doesn’t do that. All it does is prevent law being passed when the houses are controlled by different parties and be the same rubber stamp that we see in our parliament when both houses are controlled by the same parties. We see this all the time in the US where the Democrats are trying to pass legislation that will make the US actually better off and the Republican house is blocking them. Remember the Debt Ceiling fiasco? That’s only possible because one house is controlled by one party and the other house is controlled by the other party.

            If we want better governance then we need BCIR and an open and accountable parliament.

      • kiwicommie 3.1.2

        Well a lot of people coming out of universities believe neo-liberal theory like it was the bible.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That’s because that’s what they’ve been taught. They’re not taught that the neo-liberal paradigm has been proven wrong several times over the last century. They’re not taught that the underlying assumptions of the theory are unrealistic and so prevent the theory from having any real world application.

          The way that economics is taught and researched in schools and universities needs a major overhaul.

  4. ghostrider888 4

    -“a lost opportunity”
    -“Fighting disease’ garnered the most support”, then the primary sector, (are they gonna write a paper that restructures society’s relationships with long-work hours, higher productivity requirements, environmental toxins produced by Big Business, income inequalities, Big Pharmaceutical, highly-proceesed marketed food, excessive consumption, love of the motor-vehicle, violence in, and by, the media, binge-drinking, resentment, entitlement, greed, and non-democratic government drunk on the power of their commercial associates?) ; look forward to the executive summary of that paper, might plagiarise Ecclesiastes though.

  5. weta 5

    I would be wondering .. are there any more Aaron Gilmores out there ?

    • ghostrider888 5.1

      “And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
      We call it ‘Riding the Gravy Train’.”

    • kiwicommie 5.2

      They are struggling to find candidates for their party list, they ran out of Bob the Builders, and Aaron Gilmore is gone, maybe they can run cardboard cut outs of old National MP’s and see if National voters even notice the difference.

      • Tom 5.2.1

        It occurs to me that Key has built a network of followers and supporters who have joined the party recently, such as Aaron .. although the full story of his demise does not seem to have yet emerged.

        Are you out there Aaron ? We would like to hear your side of the story .. we understand that the timing may not be quite right just yet. It may be too soon, but the things have a habit of coming out.

  6. Wayne 6

    However politicians did not choose the challenges – an independent science panel did led by Sir Peter Gluckman. Mind you I happen to agree they were underwhelming and seemed to be the very things normally being funded. Which was not the point when the concept was developed prior to the last election.
    Unlike many on this site I think the ideas might have been more imaginative if politicians were involved. As a principle politicians (Left or Right) are more inclined to look at the big picture of what will benefit their country. It is why they stood in the first place.

    • kiwicommie 6.1

      I think the trouble is that once some MP’s get in power they get overwhelmed or sidetracked, while others get taken over by special interest groups in business or elsewhere; those factors pretty much lead to politicians losing touch with what the country really needs.

    • Murray Olsen 6.2

      The sort of scientists who get on those panels are not those who are expected to rock the boat or come up with anything too outrageous. In effect, the politicians choose independent scientists knowing the things they are likely to suggest. They’re also self-regulating in that scientists will suppress their own creative instincts in favour of things they think the politicians will accept. You end up with the same effect John Pilger talks about with journalists, where censorship becomes unnecessary.

      • kiwicommie 6.2.1

        Personally I just fall asleep whenever the political science groups open their mouths, at lot of them just speak textbook politics – and pretty much sweep political reality under the carpet. Won’t hear a political scientist cosy to the establishment talking about government corruption, interest groups, insider trading and the like by the powers that be in the government at the time. You can’t call them dishonest, but you can’t call their views worth listening to either. I don’t respect people that won’t say things how it is because they are too scared of rocking the boat.

        • Colonial Viper

          That real life stuff doesn’t fit into nice clean academic frameworks and theories. The utility of academics in meeting the current and upcoming crisis needs of our society is lacklustre, at best.

          There is also a problem with enforced academic group think: if you want your thesis accepted and your work published, you better not stray too far off what the institutions and journals think is acceptable and current.

          • kiwicommie

            Which is what I don’t like about New Zealand universities, there are universities overseas (especially in Germany,etc) that provide much more academic freedom, most of them are private though (as in the public universities many academics are under attack by governments i.e. they are being sacked, having their salaries cut,etc). Another issue is that New Zealand universities have become disconnected, and a bit insular (they live in their own world) due to distance from European and American universities.

            • weta

              Have you heard of that wonderful confabulation known as the ‘internet’ ?

              It cuts down the tyrrany of distance, but all countries and cultures
              have their own form of provincialism .. academic and otherwise.

              Groupthink is not unique to the net. Deal with it ..

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago