“There’s always an issue of money but we can find money for the right projects” – John Key
There are two issues involved with the above story.
The Government spends $26 million on climate research every year. The Prime Minister says that will increase.
“There’s always an issue of money but we can find money for the right projects.”
Climate research is a fine endeavour, and this blogger has no problem with that.
What this blogger has a real problem with is when National’s quango’s come up with nasty suggestions like this,
Or, National point-blank refuses to fund life-saving medication in instances like this,
There seems to be a multitude of “worthy causes” for National in invest our tax dollars in; subsidies for film makers such as Warner Bros; subsidies for the rugby world cup; loans for media companies (which they initially lied about); grants to businesses; advisors; consultants; staff bonuses; MPs travel expenses, and of course, salary rises for members of Parliament.
But when it comes to grommet operations for our children and medication for sick New Zealanders, the response is not quite as generous, as Tony Ryall ‘explained’ to me on 22 November last year,
And then explained on 5 December, explained how he had pulled a neat little trick to fund National’s promised extension for Herception treatment, outside of PHARMAC rules,
(Note: in all fairness, Tony Ryall is perhaps the only Minister who has the balls to actually respond to my queries. The rest are either evasive, or like Bill English do not reply at all.)
In the above article at the top, TV3 reporter, Samantha Hayes, wrote,
It’s that variability New Zealand scientists want to investigate, using funds from a joint public and private venture – the newly formed Antarctic Research Institute.
Why is the Antarctic Research Institute a “joint public and private venture”?
What does the private sector hope to gain from research by the Antarctic Research Institute?
On 21 August 2012, the NZ Herald reported,
The New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute was launched by Prime Minister John Key last night at Premier House.
It will operate as a public-private partnership.
The institute will be closely aligned to the crown entity Antarctic New Zealand and its chairman, Rob Fenwick, will chair the institute as well.
About Mr Fenwick,
Rob Fenwick is an experienced businessman and company director with interests closely aligned to promoting sustainable development. He has had a long association with Antarctica: for nine years until 2007 he was a director and later chairman of Landcare Research, one of several CRIs involved in Antarctic research, and is a former chairman of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. In 2005 the New Zealand Geographic Society named the Fenwick Ice Piedmont in the Ross Sea for his work in Antarctica.
He is a co-founder and director of Living Earth Ltd, New Zealand’s principal organic waste management business and is active in policy development around waste minimisation and climate change, and has been a member of several Government working groups in these areas. He is a special advisor to the Department of Conservation and was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Natural Resources, honoris causa, by Lincoln University this year.
The Herald article goes on,
The institute’s director will be Professor Gary Wilson of Otago University, who said the goal was to strengthen Antarctic research capacity in New Zealand through international collaboration on research projects.
“Antarctica and the Southern Ocean hold the solutions to many of the key questions scientists and policymakers need to answer in order to manage the threats of climate change and global resource depletion.”
“Global resource depletion”…
One has to wonder what was so important that our Dear Leader, John Key, had to make the eight hour long flight – after collapsing at a Christchurch restaurant?! Surely not to return three bottles of whiskey to Shackleton’s hut??
Why is the private sector involved in a joint public and private venture with the newly formed Antarctic Research Institute? PPPs are usually formed where there is the potential for profit by the private investor.
Or is it that Gareth Morgan has a point when he sez on his blog,
Taking care of Antarctica requires a constant diplomatic effort. John Key’s visit may look like the usual smile and wave routine, but the symbolism is much stronger. His presence is simultaneously reasserting our claim, bolstering our position at the negotiation table, and recognising the wonderful contribution the Scott Base installation has made for so long. Declaring to the world that Antarctica is important to us and we want it managed well is central to Mr Key’s visit. New Zealand has a long history of leadership in Antarctica.
Methinks there is more to this story than we’ve been told.
Gareth Morgan: Key Antarctica trip more than waving at penguins
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