• 1 May 2024 17:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As we mentally prepare for the disappointment of Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways to offer new hope via the Science System Advisor Group reports, submitters may benefit from a compendium of past reports.

    At some point, when little has been done to reshape or renew New Zealand's unique research system back in line with what works well internationally, these resources might be considered navel gazing.

    Yet Hon Margaret Austin, the first Minister of RS&T (from the 4th Labour Government), has strongly advised NZAS to look back at the Beattie report to better understand the sequence that began nearly 40 years ago. We concur.

    1986: Beattie, David and others. Key to prosperity: science & technology. Wellington, N.Z.: Wellington, N.Z. : Ministerial Working Party on Science and Technology 1986. (Link to scanned PDF

    1988: New Zealand Science Review special issue reporting on Key to Prosperity symposium. (Link to scanned PDF)

    1988: Arbuckle, R. H. and others. Science and technology review : a new deal. Wellington, N.Z.]: Wellington, N.Z. : Science and Technology Advisory Committee 1988. (Link to scanned PDF)

    1997: Doig, M and M Menzies. Cutting the Cake: Science Priority Setting from 1990-1995. (Not a commissioned set of recommendations but an assessment of how the new system worked in its early years). (Link to scanned PDF)

    2007: OECD Review of Innovation Policy for New Zealand. Although the recommendations were followed and forgotten by the succession of ministries (MoRST, MSI and MBIE), the weaknesses embedded in the system remain largely the same as described on p12-13. This largely stems from the last weekness, the emergent "automatic steering syndrome" that results from oscillating between to a few policy principles. (Link)

    2010: Jordan, N. Report of the CRI Task Force. (A careful and insightful set of recommendations, which if implemented fully would have left us in better shape today.) (Link to PDF)

    2020: Te Pae Kahurangi Report, MBIE (Initially a 10-year review of the CRI Task Force Report, but raising larger questions.)

    2021: We published and released a discussion document outlining the need for a major renewal of the research system early in the year.

    2021: Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Cabinet Paper (Was this the best part of the process?) (Link to PDF) The main pages from Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways have recently moved on the MBIE website and are now located here. The programme concluded in 2023, with the final paper from the discontinued National Research Priorities process released in early 2024.

    Final note: We'd have lost track of nearly all this material if it wasn't for the NZAS' long string of efforts. If you believe those who don't read or understand history are doomed to repeat it, consider joining NZAS.

  • 16 Mar 2022 13:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For those who haven't been following our repository, a great deal of analysis is now available, and may be helpful for submissions. 

    Precarity in academia is tied to the contestable funding model - Kate Lee


    Understanding and Reforging the 'Compact Between Science and Society'


    4. Building Responsive Science and Innovation


    5. Hypercompetition: Observations and Remedies


    6. New Zealand's High Research Overheads: An International Anomaly


    7. Data Description for Resources to Address Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways.


    8. Training-Workforce Mismatch for New Zealand Doctorates


    Proposal for formal Te Tiriti and mātauranga Māori curriculum for researchers - Georgia Carson


  • 12 Mar 2022 16:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New today:

    We have a glossary document with this most up to date version at this link. After the close of play 16 March, we'll finalise a copy on the community site: https://te-ara-paerangi.community/index.php.

    The Postdoctoral Society in FMHS at the University of Auckland has posted their submission on the repository. Great job!  10.5281/zenodo.6345545

    Our intern, and 'just-handed-in' PhD Student Sneh Patel has put up a great narrative describing what typical PhD students currently face. It covers more about foregone remuneration than most will be aware of. Don't we need to treat highly qualified students better if we expect them to tackle PhDs? 10.5281/zenodo.6348121

     (Let us know if you have any references or other narratives we should reference if we manage an updated version.) 

  • 10 Mar 2022 22:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please check out the new site for connecting and sharing ideas set up by GFANZ and our former councillor Rob Elshire. https://te-ara-paerangi.community/index.php

    We'd like to recommend a great idea for postdoctoral fellowships that provide upskilling for making links between science and policy. It's from Olivia Truax. Please promote this idea, which on the site above and on our Zenodo repository


    And Lucy Stewart has taken the lead on a brief outline some key issue with the workforce. So many more PhD students, and so much more R&D spending, yet little new employment of PhDs. It follows that the research PhD's are working on isn't well matched to jobs. 


    Last - if you need a template for submission, here's a submission template pre-populated from with some of our draft bullets from a couple weeks ago. It's a google doc, so make a copy... 

    More soon!

  • 3 Mar 2022 17:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The next in our series of papers that look at the deep issues in science policy is up. How can we use the insights identified so far to get the best possible way forward for the research system, with the least disruption?


    Previous briefs addressing Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Green Paper evolve from awareness that the pandemic has raised serious concerns about the sustainability of today’s research institutions and funding systems. Aotearoa’s highly contestable funding raises concerns that our system may be among the most unstable internationally and prone to the problems observed in increasingly hypercompetitive research systems worldwide. Hypercompetition is associated with poor behaviours and mediocrity, undermines diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and reduces the likelihood of funding innovative projects and careers. How can we build more collaborative, connected careers within research systems appropriate for taking society on innovative journeys to solve the biggest challenges such as climate change and protecting endangered biodiversity? This paper and previous work describes analysis to arrive at design suggestions for an innovative base funding proposal that better achieves the historical intentions to meet national research needs that have evolved considerably over 30 years. The proposed system would reallocate existing and possibly additional government funding to support 30–50% of researchers’ salaries and related costs. The intent is to enhance the overall well being of the research workforce and knowledge systems by creating or incentivising a number of features that overcome current dilemmas, improving the responsiveness, connectivity and use of research within Aotearoa New Zealand, though self-organisation following Ostrom’s principles of common resource pool allocation. The proposed scheme has advantages over the current highly contestable system, and is expected to outperform tenure-driven systems.

    Access and contribute to the community we've set up on Zenodo. The DOI repository system allows briefs to be shared, discussed and cited as modular components of submissions.


    This is a joint effort of Te Pūnaha Matatini and NZAS.

  • 28 Feb 2022 08:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A big new brief is out. It examines the historical paradigms that led to the set up of New Zealand's unique research system, and how they suggest opportunities to initiate self-organising transformation.


    Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Green Paper seeks a major transformation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s research, science and technology (RS&T) system and places ‘prioritisation’ at the head of its consultation process. Work to date has found that prioritisation is the most challenging topic, yet one that can provide a powerful test of whether proposed changes in all other categories can transform Aotearoa New Zealand’s research system as desired. This work analyses the potential to use more effective prioritisation as a target for transformational and feasible reform by sequentially applying frameworks identified by Meadows and Ostrom, to prioritise interventions in systems and manage common pool resources, respectively. The analysis identifies how to reframe the historic paradigms driving reform to prioritise and maximise the appropriation of well-being benefits of RS&T expenditure within Aotearoa, using an ‘NZ inc’ perspective. The analysis supports reframing and managing the nation’s RS&T institutions, infrastructure and funding as a common resource pool.

    Access and contribute to the community we've set up on Zenodo. The DOI repository system allows briefs to be shared, discussed and cited as modular components of submissions.


    This is a joint effort of Te Pūnaha Matatini and NZAS.

    Let's do better than this cartoon. We can choose to understand complexity, and use it to design the future of our research system.

  • 9 Feb 2022 07:34 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Briefly, kudos to the Sally Davenport and the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge on completing their submission and making it available well ahead of the submission deadline.

  • 4 Feb 2022 09:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We've been developing two big ideas the research community can use to convert our challenges into a viable path for transformational change.

    The first is a workable and justifiable proposal for base funding. The second encourages everyone to share ideas, data, and analysis in an open access repository. Our brief provides the first example.

    Lead Brief: Addressing Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways to Deliver Transformation

    Troy Baisden, Lucy Stewart, Craig Stevens, Priscilla Wehi, Fiona McDonald, and NZAS Council

    The New Zealand Government has announced the Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways consultation, based on a Green Paper outlining concerns about the state of the nation’s research funding, institutions and workforce. This working brief spearheads analysis by Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence and the New Zealand Association of Scientists, combining efforts to examine the consultation themes, public consultation sessions, and possible frameworks for transformational change. We recommend a base funding system to support people as the foundational step to address all consultation themes, and sharing of briefs to support a wide range of stakeholders to develop a more trusted, open and effective model for public good research support as a common resource. 

    Access full brief via DOI by clicking on:


    Access and contribute to the community we've set up on Zenodo.


  • 2 Feb 2022 12:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We hope everyone has had a great summer holiday. Welcome back to work, and to the major consultation on Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Green Paper, which is running for another month (until 16 March - deadline extension).

    Just as a reminder, the consultation is rethinking its science funding system, particularly around Crown Research Institutes and areas like the Endeavour Fund, fellowships, careers and infrastructure. This is your chance to submit and work with others to make a difference in the structure of our research system!

    We've now filled the RA role advertised here, and have more capacity to interact (from mid February)

    The RA will:

    • Organise people, documents and ideas
    • Crunch numbers and generate data visualisations
    • Help to prepare/author shared briefs, evidence and submissions

    Te Pūnaha Matatini (TPM) CoRE has funding allocated for this role, to work within its scope on the joint TPM/NZAS effort.

    Let's be clear: this is a big opportunity to influence change with good ideas and evidence. A Green Paper process means that big change is needed and the Government genuinely doesn’t yet have a plan that would lead to a White Paper with proposed direction(s), so this could be a big opportunity to influence change in an area at the heart of Te Pūnaha Matatini, where we’ll be coordinating discussion and submissions. In particular, because of the focus on careers and the science workforce, we want to enable early career researcher voices to be effective contributors to joint submissions, and able to represent yourselves well through your own submissions.  

    As promised - more is now up and more is coming soon...

  • 24 Dec 2021 12:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We've set up a new section dedicated to Reshaping the New Zealand Research System. We will publish or link resources of interest to the community responding to Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Green Paper consultation.

    As co-President I'll be fronting a combined effort of NZAS and Te Pūnaha Matatini. New co-President Lucy Stewart will also be heavily engaged – continuing her big successes clarifying the career issues emerging researchers have been facing and what can be done.

    At present, we've crashed into the holiday break having digested MBIE's workshops on the consultation run through mid-December. Overarching thoughts are now in an online format (link or below) designed for engagement, and feedback, with more coming soon.

    Perhaps the most important lesson from MBIE's workshops revealed what we expected: prioritisation is both hard and contested. Can we suggest focus on people and successful research careers, seeing other key matters such as institutions, infrastructure and funding as resources contributing to this success?

    You can also catch up on my President's address (video) to the NZAS conference which provided a major update on NZAS's Call for Renewal of the research system.

    Have a great summer and great holidays – and enjoy the time to do some thinking about giving Aotearoa the Research System it deserves!

    Troy Baisden

    Made with Padlet

© 2024 NZAS | Disclaimer Sitemap

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software