Sir Peter Gluckman has raised questions about the public funding of science in a speech to the 2013 conference of the New Zealand Association of Scientists.
The full speech can be read here.
In it Sir Peter asks why NZ has taken a different path in its public science, compared to other successful western nations, for at least three decades.
Over that time most countries have committed to major increases in public investment in science. This has been particularly the case for the small advanced economies such as Denmark, Israel and Singapore. But, in contrast, until recently we have essentially only tinkered with a system established years ago.
Sir Peter says the contestable funding system remains the one part of our science and innovation system that has not been looked at in recent years.
He also says there is is good evidence to suggest that peer review processes, as they are undertaken in NZ, are high in burden and less than ideal in outcome.