40 Years of Navel Gazing Resources?

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.

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