Political parties on the big science issues

Press Release – Science Media Centre

The country’s political parties have outlined their positions on some of the biggest science-related issues facing the nation in the Science Media Centre’s Election 2011 Q&A, which was published today.Political parties on the big science issues
8 November 2011
The country’s political parties have outlined their positions on some of the biggest science-related issues facing the nation in the Science Media Centre’s Election 2011 Q&A, which was published today.

The Q&A (download as a PDF [Scoop copy of PDF]) covers issues such as energy use, biosecurity and research and development, through to science education, the structure of the Crown Research Institutes and the state of water quality in New Zealand.

The responses show that all of the political parties consider science and technology crucial to New Zealand’s social and economic development, even if their policy approaches may differ.

“Science policies are usually not the biggest draw among the sideshows that make up general election campaigns, and they rarely get to ‘fly’ in the big tent of the election circus,” said Science Media Centre manager, Peter Griffin.

“But in the years after the election, it is science that the public will expect to underpin future social, technological and economic advances,” he added.

While science policy is currently under the spotlight as voters weigh up their options ahead of the November 26 election, there’s has also been recent high-level scrutiny of the use of science-based evidence in formulating government policies.

In April, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, released a discussion document Towards better use of evidence in policy formation suggesting ways to more effectively use of science-based evidence in government.

All of the political parties currently occupying Parliament were invited to respond to the SMC questionnaire. Further answers not received by press time will be added to the SMC website.

The SMC also put 10 questions to the political parties in the run up to the 2008 General Election. Those responses are available here.

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