A quick observation about Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s maiden Budget speech:
He did not mention “science”. Not once.
Or rather, I failed to find the word in a quick search through what he said.
But he did quote a famous scientist.
And, fair to say, he did mention (twice) “research and development”.
Here’s what he said:
It is vital for our economy to be better prepared for the future. This will require a new approach with fresh thinking. As Albert Einstein is reported to have said: “No problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it.”
This is why Budget 2018 gives a major boost to innovation, with $1 billion over four years to finance a tax incentive for more Research & Development by Kiwi businesses. We have committed through the Coalition Agreement with New Zealand First to lifting our Research & Development spending as a country by 50 per cent – to 2 per cent of GDP inside 10 years.
The word “innovation” was slipped into the paragraph above.
It was given an earlier mention:
To transform the economy we have to be more productive. We have to work smarter, build our skills and resilience, explore new innovations and adapt to change. We cannot continue to rely on merely increasing our population, exporting raw commodities and an overheated housing market to drive economic growth.
That was it – at least, so far as this Budget speech was concerned.
But as you can see from AgScience’s other Budget posts today, some extra appropriations have gone towards the work of scientists.