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When it comes to ICT, Govt tells Greens... Innovate this

17 Jul 2014

The Green Party needs to learn what's already happening with innovation in New Zealand before bursting out with old 2008 style rhetoric about the need for a more innovative economy.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce claims the Greens, like Labour, have "shown no interest" in what's been happening with New Zealand's innovative businesses since Labour left government in 2008.

That shows in their policy release, scathes Joyce, which is full of "embarrassing 2008-style rhetoric" which has long since been overtaken by time.

While the Greens and Labour "have been asleep", Joyce claims the government has:

* Government investment in Research and Development has grown hugely and by 2015/16 will be 70 per cent higher than it was in 2008.

* Business R&D has grown as a percentage of GDP by 23 per cent in just one two year period from 2010 to 2012 as we move towards the Government's target of reaching 1 per cent of GDP.

* New Zealand's productivity grew 2.1 per cent in the most recently available year (to March 2013)

* New Zealand's ICT, high-tech and medium high-tech manufacturing companies have grown significantly and already make up nearly 8 per cent of New Zealand's total exports of goods and services (dairy is currently 22 per cent).

"It's good to see the Greens playing catch-up and endorsing our shift into encouraging more students in engineering, ICT and science careers, and our approach of dramatically increasing R&D Investment," Joyce adds.

"However, to be credible, they need to drop the Helen Clark era knowledge wave rhetoric about the need to diversify and so on, and concentrate on pushing in the direction New Zealand is already going under this government."