The Green and Labour parties have identified Science and
Innovation Minister Steven Joyce as their election enemy
number one when the Opposition parties release any policy Mr
Joyce oversees for the Government.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman yesterday released the
party's innovation policy and much of the second page of a
two-page press release was devoted to criticising Mr Joyce.
The Greens announced $1 billion additional investment would
be spent in research and development, including tax breaks,
if the Greens were part of the next government.
Labour had its shot at Mr Joyce earlier in the week, when he
backtracked on policy he criticised Labour for, by releasing
similar policy four days later.
Mr Joyce, who used Twitter to lash the Greens for a lack of
understanding about what was already happening in innovation,
told the Otago Daily Times the Greens and Labour seemed
offended the economy was doing so well.
''Perhaps they are resorting to personality politics because
they see innovation as their space and are offended by what
the country has achieved in those areas.''
The Greens and Labour had built a narrative that somehow New
Zealand innovation, exports and R&D were slumping and if
only New Zealand voted for them, everything would magically
''That's an insult to the hundreds of innovation companies up
and down New Zealand who are doing exactly that - innovating
Dr Norman said Mr Joyce had strapped innovation in a
''By putting himself at the centre of a complex web of
R&D funding, the minister is denying businesses the
freedom to innovate on their own terms.
''Unlike Steven Joyce, we don't think politicians should have
their fingers in everyone's pie. That just delivers bad
Mr Joyce said it was ridiculous and insulting to suggest he
made every decision.
On issues like AgResearch reducing its Invermay facility, he
received criticism for not getting involved.
Recently, when Centres for Excellence, including the one at
the University of Otago, received extra funding, he was
criticised for not following the directions from Labour, Mr
The Greens would set up an expert working group to advise on
the best mechanism to deliver the additional funding it would
inject into the R&D system.
A tax credit created a level playing field and meant
businesses could get government support for R&D without
all the paperwork and bureaucracy inherent in the current
system, the party said.
''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 today, which is full of embarrassing 2008-style
rhetoric which has long since been overtaken by time,'' Mr
However, BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly said
business would ''strongly support'' the Green Party policy of
more funding for science and technology.
The policy announced included funding an additional 1000
places at tertiary institutions for those studying
engineering, maths, computer science and the physical
Mr Joyce is often called the Minister of Everything. His
portfolios are: Economic Development, Science and Innovation,
Small Business, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment,
and he is associate Finance Minister.
Green innovation policy
•$1b of new funding
over three years.
•R&D funding made up of tax credits and grants.
•Firms going to overseas ownership to repay their
•Companies receiving significant funds agree to
Government equity stake.