Responding to the economic, societal and environmental consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 05 August 2020

How can Aotearoa New Zealand best respond to the economic, societal and environmental consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic?
In the short term, the focus was on public health and medical measures. In the medium to long term, however, a much broader range of actions will be required. These responses will rebuild damaged sectors as well as take advantage of the opportunities arising from the pandemic.

MBIE’s three Science Advisors have authored an opinion piece about how a resilient research, science and innovation sector can play a major role in our recovery from the pandemic. The Advisors, Professor Gary Evans, Dr Rob Murdoch and Professor Hamish Spencer, have a role in providing independent scientific advice in MBIE’s policy development. Importantly, this advice is not government policy and need not represent the views of the Ministry or the Minister.

The Advisors argue that a resilient Research, Science and Innovation sector will provide critical input into the country’s responses to the economic, societal and environmental consequences of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the financial and structural impacts of the pandemic mean that the RSI sector is currently vulnerable. Consequently, they believe that government and the RSI sector should take bold steps in the near term to ensure that the sector can make the most of the opportunities presented and meet the challenges head on.