$40.5 million of new operating funding in Budget 2017 will help to reduce the risk to life from natural disasters and hazards, and explore the unique environment of Antarctica, Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith says.
The new funding is made up of $19.5 million over four years for natural hazards research, and $21 million over three years from 2018/19 dedicated to Antarctic research. It will be administered through the Government’s Strategic Science Investment Fund.
“These new investments will increase our understanding of the world around us, whether it be fault lines in the South Island, lahar trenches on the Central Plateau, or Antarctic ice that’s several millennia old,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“With the natural hazards funding we will be able to improve New Zealand’s natural hazards monitoring capability by developing new tools to improve the reliability and clarity of disaster alerts and warnings, including a funding boost for planning around events such as tsunamis.
“In particular, we will significantly improve our ability to detect and communicate hazards information on a 24/7 basis, so New Zealanders will be better equipped with both real-time and long-term information about natural hazards.
“New Zealand’s unique and complex geology continues to attract interest from scientists around the globe. This new investment will strengthen our position as world leaders in natural hazards science and improve New Zealand’s international standing as a high-quality R&D destination,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“New Zealand has had a formal presence in Antarctica for over 50 years, and the continent is a hugely important region for research into the natural world in the past, the present, and into the future.
“This funding will provide an enhanced platform for new scientific discoveries by Kiwi researchers in one of the most dangerous, dynamic, and awe-inspiring places in the natural world.”
Budget 2017 will invest $372.8 million of new operating funding in the second round of the Government’s Innovative New Zealand programme, Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith say.
“Every initiative in the Budget flows from having a strong economic plan that delivers sustainable growth and jobs,” Mr Bridges says. “The Government’s Innovative New Zealand programme invests in the skills and innovation that will keep our economy growing in the years ahead.”
The funding includes:$203 million for Science and Innovation over four years, including: $40.5 million in strategic science investments to explore our natural hazards and the Antarctic environment. $81.9 million for New Zealand’s largest contestable science fund, the Endeavour Fund, to support research with the potential to have long-term transformative impact. $74.6 million to meet rising demand for Callaghan Innovation’s Research and Development Growth Grants. $6 million over three years for the expansion of the Strategic Innovation Partnerships Programme to deliver on its goal of attracting 10 multinational companies to undertake R&D activity in New Zealand by 2020. $31.1 million in Economic Development funding, including: $6.4 million over two years for the New Zealand Business Number initiative to support adoption and implementation across the private sector and government agencies. $5.7 million over two years to help meet the Better Public Services Result 9 target, which aims to improve the experience for business when dealing with government. $4 million rollover funding over two years for the New Zealand Government Partnerships Office. $15 million over four years to support the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s role as the lead space agency. $132.1 million for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment over four years, including: $69.3 million for increased tuition subsidy rates at qualification level three and above, supporting providers to continue to deliver quality skills for industry. $52.5 million for the Performance-Based Research Fund to promote high quality research in tertiary education. $6.8 million to support sustainable growth in the international education sector to strengthen the net benefit to New Zealand and its value to our regions. $3.5 million of reprioritised funding to meet increased demand for workplace-based literacy and numeracy programmes in 2018, giving more people the skills and confidence to engage in the workplace and community.
“These initiatives are another major step towards building a stronger and more connected economy that enriches New Zealand, lifts our productivity, and raises living standards,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“An innovative New Zealand will use the skills and knowledge delivered by our tertiary system, and the high-quality, high-impact science to help innovative Kiwi businesses to be successful on the world stage.”
Education Minister Nikki Kaye unveiled a commemorative photograph at Auckland Grammar School this morning, dedicated to New Zealand’s first ever female university graduate, Kate Edger.
“It was a privilege to acknowledge Kate, who was a real trailblazer and a passionate advocate for women at a time when opportunities for women were much more limited than they are today,” says Ms Kaye.
“In 1874, with no secondary schooling for girls available in Auckland, Kate was granted permission to attend Auckland College and Grammar School, now Auckland Grammar School.
“Kate was 16 years old at the time and was the only female in a class of boys. She had previously been taught at home by her father.
“She gained a University Scholarship and went on to achieve success at university and in her subsequent teaching career, as foundation headmistress of Nelson College for Girls then running a private school for secondary girls from her family home in Mt Victoria, Wellington.
“Kate was also actively involved in the New Zealand Society for the Protection of Women and Children, and the Suffrage Movement.
“We have much to owe women like Kate, who changed society through their convictions and determination, and who made the road easier for those who follow in their footsteps.”
Kate Edgar became New Zealand’s first female university graduate in 1877, when she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Latin and Mathematics at the University of New Zealand.
“She didn’t just break new ground in New Zealand, she was also the first woman in the British Empire to receive a BA degree,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“After completing her BA, Kate went on to graduate with a Masters Degree from Canterbury College in 1882, and in 1935 she was awarded a King’s Jubilee Silver Medal.
“Today, women make up around 58 per cent of students in tertiary education, so it’s hard to imagine a time when they were a small minority amongst their male peers.
“We owe a great deal to women like Kate who through their efforts have helped make the world a much better place.”
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today opened New Zealand’s first innovation institute in Hangzhou, China, a key step towards developing stronger research links with Chinese researchers.
“China is a key science and innovation partner for New Zealand and the University of Auckland Innovation Institute in Hangzhou presents a great opportunity to help New Zealand research organisations commercialise their intellectual property into the Chinese market,” Mr Goldsmith says
“The Institute will develop stronger relationships in China with government, universities, research institutes, local companies, and multi-national corporations that have a presence in China.
“It will provide access to a wide range of opportunities in China to support research at University of Auckland, as well as invaluable knowledge of how to access the Chinese market.”
Set up in China’s Silicon Valley equivalent, Hangzhou Hi Tech Industrial Zone, the institute will share the same campus as research and development centres for Motorola, Nokia and Siemens.
The Institute offers meeting rooms, conference facilities and closed office areas, which can be used by Kiwi businesses for client meetings, seminars, functions or as a workspace. There is potential for partners to use the space under a long term co-location agreement, enabling closer collaboration.
Ten schools across New Zealand will receive assistance to deepen their China sister school relationships, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith announced in Beijing today.
The New Zealand – China Sister Schools Fund operates on a co-funding basis to enable schools to further deepen their existing links with Chinese partners. Each school will receive up to $5000 from a fund administered by Education New Zealand.
“Through initiatives like the Sister Schools Fund and the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia, we’re giving young Kiwis the opportunity to develop skills and awareness for an Asia-Pacific-centred world,” Mr Goldsmith says.
This is the third round of funding, and was announced during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to New Zealand in March 2017. Mr Goldsmith is currently in China on a six-day official visit.
The recipients include seven primary and intermediate schools, and three high schools.
“As one of the recipients, Cambridge Primary School will be able to strengthen their relationship with ShenLong Primary, with a visit to Cambridge from ShenLong students and staff in August, with 13 students from Cambridge visiting China this October,” Mr Goldsmith says.
Most of the schools are planning to take groups of students to visit their sister schools in China. Many have indicated this funding will subsidise some students who would not otherwise be able to access this opportunity.
2017 marks the forty-fifth anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China.
“Education has played, and continues to play, an important role in the overall bilateral relationship, and I welcome the continued strengthening of China-New Zealand relations,” Mr Goldsmith says.
The full list of recipients can be found at www.enz.govt.nz.
Science and Innovation and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith will travel to China tonight to represent New Zealand at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.
“Attending the first Belt and Road Forum will allow us to add a distinctly New Zealand voice and perspective. New Zealand’s best interests lie in participating in international initiatives that have the potential to benefit our economy and society,” says Mr Goldsmith.
New Zealand’s participation in the Forum follows on from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s successful visit to New Zealand in March, where he and Prime Minister Bill English witnessed the signing of a number of arrangements that reinforced the strength of the New Zealand-China bilateral relationship, including committing to working with China on its Belt and Road Initiative.
“We have a great record of advocating for open, rules-based systems that make trading, investment and people movements flow more easily,” Mr Goldsmith says.
Following the Forum, which runs from 14 to 15 May, Mr Goldsmith will undertake a series of meetings and events relating to his ministerial portfolios.
“China is an important research partner for New Zealand and the bilateral relationship between the two countries has continued to thrive in recent years, particularly with the signing of several major research partnership agreements in the last 12 months,” says Mr Goldsmith.
While in China Mr Goldsmith will also:Meet with the Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, and Minister of Education Chen Baosheng Open the University of Auckland’s Innovation Institute in Hangzhou Open of the Joint Institute between the University of Waikato and Zhejiang University City College Attend the 10th Anniversary event of the New Zealand Centre at Peking University.
Mr Goldsmith will return to New Zealand on 20 May.
The Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill has today passed its first reading in Parliament, says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith.
“This Bill will help the tertiary education system run more efficiently, ensure quality, and provide additional student protection,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The Bill proposes a more balanced and flexible funding approach to ensure that providers can focus on delivering better outcomes for students, while still retaining appropriate accountability and monitoring mechanisms.
“It strengthens the monitoring of tertiary education organisations in response to recent investigations, for example by requiring providers to maintain records of their use of public money, and enhancing the TEC’s ability to monitor activities such as overseas education provision not funded by the Government.
“It will also provide for a level playing field between providers, whether they be publicly or privately owned, including requiring funding to be provided at the same rate for the same provision. This better reflects current practice and is the fair thing to do,” says Mr Goldsmith.
In addition, the Bill makes a number of changes around student protection, including:Extending the Export Education Levy to cover both private and partnership schools; Enable schools to manage international student misconduct outside of school hours, to better protect students’ health, safety, and wellbeing; Holding providers to account for falsely awarding credits, by allowing NZQA to pursue action against offending providers.
The Bill will now be considered by the Education and Science Select Committee.
Regulatory Reform Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the Statutes Repeal Bill passing its Second Reading in Parliament today.
“Repealing redundant laws is just one part of the wider work we are doing to improve the quality of the law that governs New Zealanders’ lives,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“124 laws were slated for removal when the Bill was introduced, and as a result of public submissions that number has now increased to 128.”
The Statutes Repeal Bill will repeal or partially repeal 137 pieces of legislation, and will reduce the total number of laws on the Statute Books by 128.
Overall the bill the number of public Acts on the New Zealand law books will reduce by more than 10 per cent.
The four additional Acts which the Committee agreed are suitable repeal are the Education Law Amendment Act 1933, the Infants Act Repeal Act 1989, the Taxation Acts Repeal Act 1986 and the Wellington City Reserves Act 1872. Section 4 of the Wellington City Reserves Act 1871 will also be repealed.
“The Wellington City Council have been looking for a legislative vehicle to repeal the redundant Wellington City Reserves Act provisions, and I’m glad the Government was able to assist with it,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Some of the Acts identified for repeal include the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake Act, Seamen’s Union Funds Act 1971 and the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act 2010.
“With this Bill we will reduce the number of public Acts on the New Zealand law books by more than 10 per cent,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Reducing the regulatory burden is all part of creating a competitive and productive economy that provides more and better paying jobs for New Zealanders and their families.”
The Statutes Repeal Bill will now progress to the Committee of the Whole House, and is available here.
The latest employment forecasts released today show that the New Zealand economy will continue to grow total employment over the next three years, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith says.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s report, Short-term Employment Forecasts: 2017-20, shows that employment will grow an average of two per cent over the next three years.
“It is encouraging to see that robust job growth is set to continue across the country over the next three years despite global uncertainty. The forecasts show that New Zealand will continue to grow as a highly skilled economy, with growth in the construction and services sectors continuing to support economic growth,” Mr Goldsmith says.
Employment growth rates are forecast to be highest in the South Island, particularly in the Marlborough (3.5 per cent) and Tasman (3.3 per cent) regions over the three year period.
“The strongest employment growth will be in business services, health and community services and construction over the next three years.
“Around 94,000 or 61 per cent of the employment growth will be in highly-skilled occupations, such as managers and professionals. Over the next three years, employment in lower-skilled occupations will increase by 40,000.
“The employment growth in highly-skilled occupations (2.9 per cent) is forecast to be greater than the overall rate of growth in employment, which is encouraging to see.”
The unemployment rate is forecast to remain at or below 5 per cent as employment growth will continue to grow faster than labour supply over the next three years.
“While there is still more work to be done, the new forecasts underline the resilience and strength of a growing highly-skilled and modern economy.
“The Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda and the Regional Growth Programme will continue to support businesses and regions across New Zealand to build on their strengths, attract investment, and grow jobs,” Mr Goldsmith says.
More information is available on the MBIE website, www.mbie.govt.nz.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced $1.2 million of additional funding for the Natural Hazards Research Platform to conduct vital research and work to support the Kaikoura earthquake recovery.
“Science helps us to understand what happened during this earthquake, how we rebuild and how we respond to future events,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“New Zealand is leading the world in earthquake science and our unique seismic events provide opportunities to make major contributions to international understanding in this field.”
In November 2016, the Government reprioritised $2 million for the urgent science response to the Kaikoura earthquake, including aerial and marine surveys, landslide observations, and GeoNet support. In December 2016, Cabinet also agreed $3 million of initial funding to develop and enhance New Zealand’s natural hazards monitoring capability.
“Further urgent demands to have science input into recovery and build decisions have emerged in the first few months of the response to the earthquake and it’s important that this work continue,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“There are a number of time limited opportunities to conduct high-value research over the next few months that will have long term benefits, such as examination of buildings before they are demolished, gathering evidence from recent geological changes, and updating subsoil assessments in Wellington before rebuilding starts.”
The new work funded includes:Further landslide assessments, continuing on from work started in November. Updating subsoil assessments in Wellington and assessing pre-cast concrete construction. Incorporating slow-slip earthquakes and new land deformation into hazards models.
“If we are to better protect lives and critical infrastructure in future seismic events, we must make use of the opportunity to research the Kaikoura quake, and learn as much as possible so that we can be as prepared as possible,” says Mr Goldsmith.
For more information see www.naturalhazards.org.nz.