Thursday, 10 December 2020 10:55

Govt needs to rethink research funding strategy - Mackle

Written by  Staff Reporters
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the government needs to rethink how it funds environmental research. DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the government needs to rethink how it funds environmental research.

DairyNZ say the government needs to rethink how environmental research is funded in New Zealand.

The call comes after a report by Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) Simon Upston argued that the current system was disjointed.

“We urge the Government to accept the PCE’s advice and reconsider our national strategy and funding allocation for environmental research,” said DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.

Mackle says that New Zealand faces significant challenges to reduce its environmental footprint, reduce emissions and improve water quality.

“To be successful we will need substantial, long-term research investment based on a shared strategy,” he said.

“The current research is not having the impact it could,” he said.

Mackle explains that the current system is costly, cumbersome, and doesn’t always give funding to the areas that actually need it.

“Misplaced incentives around certain priorities can result in piecemeal projects at the expense of long-term vision and co-ordinated effort.”

He says that the result of these issues is a system that is splintered and drives mostly short-term and disconnected projects which have low accountability for impact.

Mackle argues that the projects need to bring together the expertise of researchers to achieve economic, social and environmental aspirations.

“The amount for research and development needs to be commensurate to the challenges and the opportunities for New Zealand,” he said.

“The dairy sector wants to be part of the solution and we are keen to see environmental research investment which delivers the desired outcomes for New Zealand’s environment.

“We want to see the government continue to invest in the dairy sector and other primary sector solutions and innovations.”

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