A hat tip to student Chris Sadler for this presentation by Sir Paul Callaghan who argues that New Zealanders have earned their prosperity by exploiting their environment. In fact he suggests that we are hypocritical with reagrd to our clean green image and that focus on the primary sector is not sustainable. Also our GDP is near the bottom of the OECD rankings. Furthermore if you look at how unequal New Zealand is we are 26th out of 33 in the OECD.
“We are poor because we chose to be poor. Our education system is as good as any – the French, the Danes – but we chose to work in low wage activities.”
He suggests that a broad base of R&D activity is needed and one which will encourage an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will translate ideas into products.