Lauder cuts result of government’s lopsided approach to science fundingPublish By Robert Valenti Updated 09/07/2012 2:41 pm in NZ News / no comments
PSA MEDIA RELEASE
9th July 2012 – For Immediate Use
The Public Service Association says environmental science is falling victim to the government’s lopsided approach to scientific funding and research.
Three senior scientists at NIWA’s Lauder Research Station in central Otago are set to lose their jobs as a result of funding constraints and a shift in project priorities.
“The atmospheric research carried out at Lauder is highly-specialised and feeds into a global understanding of climate change. To make cuts devalues that work and represents a blow to New Zealand’s international environmental science record,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.
“The government likes to talk science up as a key area for growth and investment but the reality is that it is only interested in funding science for commercial gain.”
This year’s budget included new funding for science, innovation and research, including the establishment of the Advanced Technology Institute which is aimed at building stronger links between science and industries.
“Environmental science is just as important to New Zealand as science which the government believes will promote business and economic growth. We need more investment across all the sciences not just those which might deliver commercial dividends,” says Mr Wagstaff.
“Seeing top class scientists lost sends a very poor message to New Zealand and to the rest of the world about our commitment to the environment and to climate change research,” he says.