[Dr. Willy-John Martin]
Tāwhia te mana kia mau, kia māia. Ka huri te aro ki te pae kahurangi kei reira te oranga. Mā mahi tahi, ka ora, ka puāwai. Ko ngā mahi katoa, kia pono, kia tika: Tihei mauri ora. Tēnā koutou, welcome to all beaming in this morning for the announcement of Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways. I'll be your MC this morning. My name is Dr. Willy-John Martin. I'm the pou pūtaiao Director Māori research science and innovation at the Ministry for business of Business Innovation and Employment. So I'd now like to introduce the Honorable Dr. Megan Woods Minister for Research, Science and Innovation to introduce Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways.
[Honorable Dr. Megan Woods]
Tēnā koutou e ngā mātāwaka Tēnā koutou e te hau kāinga Te Ātiawa, Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou, i runga i te kaupapa o te ata No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Well, good morning, and I'd like to acknowledge the researchers, scientists and innovators in attendance who contribute significantly across so many fronts in our society and our economy. I'm absolutely delighted to be joined this morning by my colleague, the Associate Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, the Honorable Dr. Ayesha Verrall, Professor Tahu Kukutai and Dr. Willie John Martin, MBIE's director for Māori research, science and innovation. Thank you so much for that introduction. It's starting us off this morning. Our research science and innovation sector has served Aotearoa New Zealand well over the last 30 years, we have all benefited from the research and wider efforts of our researchers and institutions, including the crown research institutes, universities, independent research organisations, and other education and research providers, however, it was designed 30 years ago, it is a product of the 1990s. And like so many other products of the 1990s, grunge for instance, some aspects of it don't work as well today as they possibly could. New Zealanders have seen the direct positive impact of our exceptional domestic research community, especially through our ongoing COVID 19 response. I now want to talk to you all about the future and about our Government's plans. Future proofing our health and economy is a key priority for this Government as researches, as researchers, you will understand this idea maybe better than most, it is part of your role to imagine and create the future that we will all one day inhabit. The government is already investing heavily and tackling our major challenges, climate change, climate change, well being, child poverty, decarbonisation of our economy and our energy system, and housing are all areas we have prioritized for concerted action. But we all know we can't tackle these challenges with the knowledge and technology that we have today. We need a future focused fit for purpose, research, science and innovation system to safeguard our future health, environment and prosperity. Our future system needs to operate at the frontier of our collective knowledge and technologies to organize itself around key challenges as they emerge and to imbed Te Tiriti. I'm a passionate believer that our science system and our scientists flourished when their mission is linked with purpose. So today, I am proud to launch Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways green paper. Through this green paper consultation, we are beginning an open and wide ranging conversation, we will take an inclusive, and considered approach to hear your views and draw on the sector's collective wisdom and experience. We want to build on the parts of the system that have served us well and enhance the parts that aren't working as well as they could. I want to emphasize that this is the beginning of the conversation and the process. We have proposed no concrete options and we are not pre committed to any solutions. Any reform stemming from this consultation will have their own specific processes, including engagement. The consultation covers a range of themes related to the research system. We're exploring how we can set priorities effectively to support achievement of our national goals. We are seeking to determine how we can honor our treaty obligations and give life to Māori research aspirations, including enabling Mātauranga Māori system wide. We are assessing how funding and institutional models can ensure our research infrastructure and institutions are resilient and flexible to suit our fast changing world, support the delivery of our priorities and enhance connectivity across the system nationally. Firstly, we are considering how to ensure the research workforce is dynamic, connected and diverse, and that the research system offers attractive and flexible career pathways. Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways consultation will run through to March 2022. I strongly encourage each and every one of you to learn more about the consultation process and to make a submission on the green paper through the consultation website. Before I hand over to my colleague Minister Verrall, I want to reiterate that we are at the beginning of this process. The green paper consultation is our first avenue of engagement, but it will not be our last. The research science and innovation system is a core driver of our national dynamism and our intention to improve it for the next generation. No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Minister Verrall.
[Honorable Dr. Ayesha Verrall]
Thank you, Minister Woods. Tēnā koutou e ngā mātāwaka. Tēnā koutou e te hau kāinga Te Ātiawa, tēnā koutou Ko Ayesha Verrall ahau, Minita o te Karauna. Tēnā koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te ata Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. I'd like to start by acknowledging the recipients of the Whitinga fellowship for early career researchers who are here with us virtually, Dame Juliet Gerrard, who brings a wealth of expertise and experience to this conversation, and Dr. Willy-John Martin, and the team from Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The Government has ambitious goals to transition to a low emissions economy, that's diverse, innovative, resilient, productive, and inclusive. We want a rich and protected environment that we can be proud of to support healthier, safer communities, and to make Aotearoa the best place in the world to be a child. To achieve these goals, we need ambitious research. Already, we have committed to increasing spending on research and development to 2% of GDP. But beyond more funding, we need to ensure the research workforce is primed for success and able to make fruitful connections across the sector. This is one of the major objectives of the future Pathways Programme. People are the core of the research science and innovation system. Excellent people conduct excellent research when they have access to the right resources, including tools, data sets, facilities and infrastructure and equally as important when they have opportunities for growth. We know our research sector is not representative enough of New Zealand. And the nature of these jobs is often precarious, especially for early career researchers. Professor Wendy Larner said in her first final speech as the president of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, the PhD is no longer an apprenticeship for a guaranteed university career. She said, to be blunt, there are now too many PhD graduates and too few academic jobs. I agree with Professor Laner, we must work differently to connect the large number of doctoral graduates with more diverse careers outside academia. There's simply not enough traditional permanent positions available in universities. So many early career researchers are forced to take on one short term contract after another. We also know only 5% of researchers identify as Māori and 1.7% is Pasifika and only 25.7% of Professors and Deans are women. We are taking action to address each of these issues. One example is this year's MBIE's science Whitinga fellowships, which supported 30 early career researchers, as well as criteria that included factors such as the potential for career development. The selection process involved a ballot with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion, that ensured a minimum number of Māori women and Pasifika recipients. Similarly, a recent, a recent investment and $36 million in a new infectious diseases research platform will build a pipeline of researchers in this field. It will include opportunities for early career researchers to play a part or lead research programmes and research programmes will target health inequities in New Zealand, ensuring researchers represent a diverse range of communities. But there is more to do. So how can we ensure we have the best workforce. I'm confident the sector will have innovative ideas on how to better attract and develop talent, widen participation and address retention issues. The future pathways process will bring this to light. Alongside this consultation, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is conducting detailed workforce surveys to determine key attributes of the RSI workforce, problems faced by institutions and individuals and opportunities to improve connections and collaborations. Our research system is most successful when its people, the organizations they work for and the resources they use are well connected. The importance of staying connected has been amplified during the COVID 19 pandemic. The green paper for, Te Ara Paerangi future pathways kicks off the conversation around how we can address workforce issues and improve connectivity across the system. We look forward to hearing your views and embarking on this journey together. Ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa.
[Dr. Willy-John Martin]
Tēnā kōrua Thank you ministers. You've just heard from the honorable Dr. Megan Woods, the Minister for Research, Science and Innovation and the honorable Dr. Ayesha Verrall the Associate Minister for Research, Science and Innovation ngā mihi ki a korua. So, earlier this year, a Māori think piece was published called Te Pūtahitanga. It discussed the need to strengthen the alignment between science policy and Te Ao Māori. Professor Tahu Kukutai is one of the authors. She is also the co director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Center of Research Excellence. Professor Kukutai will now address us beaming in from the Waikato on the Māori aspirations for research science and innovation in the sector. Professor Kukutai.
[Professor Tahu Kukutai]
Ngā mihi nui ki a koe Willy-John mō tō mihi, me te karakia hei whakapai tā tātou hui i te ata nei. Ki ngā mana whenua, tēnā koutou katoa. Ki ngā māreikura, ngā Minita, tēnā kōrua. Thank you, Willy-John, for your introduction. Thank you, Minister Woods, Minister Verrall for inviting me to reflect on Māori aspirations for the research science and innovation system. And in doing so, I'd like to acknowledge the wisdom and the enduring commitment of the many Māori scholars, innovators and pūkenga that I've had the privilege to work with and learn from over the years. Let me begin by saying that I very much welcome Te Ara Paerangi the future pathways green paper and the new directions that it offers, such thinking as long overdue,although Minister Woods I would hesitate to argue that I think grunge has aged pretty well. So not everything from the 90s needs to be changed.
A well functioning research science and innovation system is one that helps drive the long term well being of all its peoples and environments and economies. We know that Aotearoa faces major challenges in terms of intergenerational poverty, health inequities, housing, social cohesion, climate change and biodiversity loss. Many of these challenges disproportionately affect Māori and Pacific communities, and have been amplified by COVID-19. The research science and innovation sector needs to be able to address these challenges, in far more timely and connected ways. The current approach isn't working for Māori nor I would argue is it providing the benefits that many other New Zealanders expect, so change is needed. Te Ara Paerangi offers much scope for transformation, but like many things, the devil will be in the detail. So I'd like to briefly pick up on three particular areas of change and opportunity. First, I am encouraged by the very clear message, that Te Tiriti O Waitangi, Mātauranga Māori and Māori aspirations are central to a system wide reset. In Te Pūtahitanga the report that Willy-John mentioned that I wrote alongside Māori colleagues from across the sector universities, CRIs and community based independent research organizations. It was very clear that Māori have ambitious aspirations for sector reform. The desire is for a forward leap, not a slow sideways shuffle, and Te Ara Paerangi acknowledges that Mātauranga Māori, our uniquely Māori systems of knowledge have been undervalued and mismanaged, in the research science and innovation system. So it's heartening to see that support for and protection of Mātauranga is front and center. And that there is an expectation that all research priorities moving forward, will be co developed with Māori and will give affect to Te Tiriti. With responsibility comes accountability. Billions of dollars have been spent on research science and innovation in Aotearoa. Currently, we have little idea on what the return on investment is for Māori. Because there is no reporting, there are few metrics and no stretchy goals to deliver on. So a much clearer line of sight on how the dollar spent is actually improving Māori outcomes is both timely and welcome. Second, I want to acknowledge the creativity, the contribution and the leadership that Māori can and do make, and the opportunity lens that we bring to our collective kaupapa. Māori have always been innovators and had distinctive ways of innovating, but this is still not well appreciated. According to a recent report by the Productivity Commission, Māori Authorities and SMEs are more likely to export and to have higher rates of innovation and research and development, than New Zealand firms generally, and the report suggested that other New Zealand businesses could learn valuable lessons from the very long term horizons that Māori businesses have and their capacities to balance rather than trade off multiple stakeholders and objectives. And for me, a really powerful example of this is Wakatū incorporation, a Māori owned food and beverage producer and one of the largest land owners in Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island, which has a 500 year intergenerational plan that establishes the guiding vision for all of their business activities. And it's these sort of businesses that are leading the way in terms of thinking and doing differently. Power sharing is crucial for a world class research system that sees Te Tiriti at its foundation, not as a symbolic afterthought, and central to Māori success as the system's capacity to support and sustain Māori leadership, but currently, it does a poor job. The 2021 research, science and innovation report notes that while Māori constitute 16.5% of the overall population, and actually that's 19% If we take the wider Māori descent population, Māori only comprise 5% of the RS and I workforce, and even if we account for the youthful, Māori age structure that is still highly inequitable, and as Minister Verrall noted that under representation of Māori academics and universities is also stark, Tara McAllister, Sereana Naepi and their colleagues have shown that Māori comprise around 5% of university academics and Pacific peoples less than 2%. One of the common myths is that there aren't enough Māori to fill academic roles. That was true back in 2002 when Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Aotearoa's only center of Māori research excellence was established. Back then there were very few Māori with PhDs. But since 2002, there have been more than 800 Māori PhD completions. So the problem is not whether there are enough Māori. The problem perhaps is that we are not judged to be enough. In 2021 there are still no Māori vice chancellors in any of the eight universities and to my knowledge, no Māori DVCS of research and enterprise. If we want system level transformation, there are plenty of places to look. Finally, I will close by noting that there are abundant opportunities to not only invest in public sector infrastructure and capacity, but also Māori lead and controlled infrastructure that enable self determined development. A research science, science and innovation system that is genuinely Te Tiriti led needs to empower and resource autonomous Māori initiatives, spaces where Māori ways of being and thinking and doing is the norm, as well as partnership approaches. It as an and and rather than an either or. Innovation and digital and data infrastructure offers many opportunities for co-creating and deploying knowledge in ways that draw more directly on the local intelligence in Mātauranga held within communities but also ables research and policy to more directly address communities priorities, communities well being. There has never been a better time, I think to move in that direction. Ngā mihi.
[Dr. Willy-John Martin]
Tēnā koe i āu kupu whakamārama, Professor Kukutai. So Te Ara Paerangi future pathways paper is now available at MBIE.govt.nz/futurepathways. So rush there and have a read. Thank you to the speakers today to the Ministers and to Professor Kukutai for joining us this morning, we'll now take questions from the room if Minister Woods could take the stand, please.
[Honorable Dr. Megan Woods]
Well, thank you very much to all of our speakers. And I'd like to emphasize the importance of your input into this conversation. It is a two way conversation. It is something that we want to hear a range of views and as a proof point on that Professor Kukutai I've been listening, I'm going to amend my reference to grunge to boybands. From here on, when I reference what was wrong with the 90s. But you can on MBIE's website you can find the green paper and details about how you can be involved in this conversation. There, you can also find the consultation submission form and relevant contact information. I'd also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the team at MBIE that had been working so hard pulling this together. I know it's been a lot of work and thank you. And we've only just begun because there is quite a process that is in front of you. So I'd also like to acknowledge all the work the team at MBIE are going to do and thank them for that. Because officials will be hosting information sessions to summarize the key content and answer questions that I'm sure people will have later in the consultation, later in the consultation, Officials are also preparing to run substantive workshops with partners and stakeholders from across the system to share and discuss ideas. And I strongly encourage you to engage with these processes to make sure that your voice is part of this important conversation. Thank you very much. And we're happy to take any questions that have may have come in from the media but there don't appear to be any in breaking news. So that's wonderful, but look thank you and we look forward to engaging with you throughout this journey
[Dr. Willy-John Martin]
That brings us to the end of our launch this morning. Thank you very much for joining us and I hope that the rest of your day goes very well and as we send you on our way we do so with a karakia. Hīkina te tapu Kia wātea ai te ara Kia turuki ai te ao mārama Hui ē, tāiki ē. Kia ora.