• Posted on: 9/04/2024
  • 1 minute to read

The jobs of 30 scientists and engineers at Callaghan Innovation are the latest casualties of the Government’s drive to reduce its investment in research and development.

"It’s surprising that the Government talks big about driving a productive economy, but yet it wants to pull back sharply on science and research," said Duane Leo, National Secretary for the Public Service Association for Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

Callaghan Innovation confirmed today its restructure to focus more commercial revenue would see the loss of 30 positions in the Innovation Enterprise area. This is about one fifth of its research and development expertise.

"These are scientists and engineers who are working in important areas like biotech and industrial chemistry. They create new products out of our agricultural industries as well as innovating in other parts of the economy.

"This is all about jobs for the future and growing the economy. It is just such short-term thinking. The strongest economies in the world invest strongly in research and development, but our government is prepared to sacrifice that for some misguided goal of cutting taxes for landlords and others.

"The Government has already scrapped the Wellington Science City proposal for badly needed upgrades to our research facilities, and abandoned funding for the New Zealand Science Challenge.

"The PSA believes many of those potentially facing redundancy will leave New Zealand for jobs overseas, depriving Aotearoa of their expertise and knowledge we’ve invested in over many decades.

"The Government continues to make bad choices to fund tax cuts when the focus should be on growing an innovative and productive economy. We will all be poorer for it in the long term," said Duane Leo.