Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Science Funding Should Focus On Performance, Not Ancestry



The Taxpayers’ Union is responding to reports
that the Government has quietly changed the rules so that
the Performance
Based Research Fund (PBRF)
will now pay Māori
researchers 2.5 times the rate of non-Māori, while Pasifika
academics will be paid two times the non-Pasifika
rate.

Union spokesman Jordan Williams said:
“The Government needs to immediately pull back from its
latest move to politicise science research on racial
grounds.”

“The PBRF, in the Government’s own words,
was established to encourage and reward excellent research
based on performance. It was never meant to be dependent on
the ancestry of academics.”

“New Zealand has spent
years building up a framework where the quality of research
can be objectively assessed across disciplines. The Union
has had issues with the PBRF in the past, but the Fund
was heading in the right direction – a focus on the
science. This latest move undoes all that and takes research
in a dangerous direction.”

“The
$315-million-a-year fund needs to be laser-focused on the
performance part of its name, not ethnicity of
researchers.”

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