OK, another reason John Key should take up as Minister of Science & Innovation – apart from it being the only sharp arrow in his quiver.
This is on the presumption that we want to quickly grow knowledge intensive, value adding businesses and employment, that are scalable and partnerable around the world.
And as Mr Key has observed, the relatively low payback of tourism means this part of the economy is never really going to kick in with more paying power, so he can drop that without being seen to be too callous.
Key as Minister of Science & Innovation sends the right message for a country aiming to get ahead.
It is an authentic position for Key and his take on the world, and his view of how New Zealand must be part of that growth – much of which will be ‘green’.
As well as being Minister of S&I, having Key in charge of a group charged with ramping up our ability to turn ideas into income would galvanise New Zealand. Such an innovation council approach has been behind countries such as Denmark, Finland and Singapore concentrate their national efforts.
From the R&D to technical side, the investment, funding and routes to markets perspective; by drawing on the connections of new New Zealanders back to their birthlands, and focusing endeavours across the entire innovation ecosystem, Key could help provide a stimulus for many different sectors of our community.
The opportunity for him to lead, in what is effectively the only area of government spending where some influence is possible, must surely be tempting.
Go on John, tell us you’ll at least thinking about it.