HRC gets blowtorch from Steve Joyce – about time


Each year the Government hands over about? $80 million to the Health Research Council (HRC).

Now we see? that Science and Innovation Minister Steve Joyce is finally having a look at the HRC by way of a ?strategic refresh? to make sure it?s actually supporting the Government?s economic development plans.

The HRC?s Chief Executive Dr Kathryn McPherson can clearly see which side of the toast the butter is on when she says: ?

As the new Chief Executive of the HRC, I welcome this strategic refresh as a real opportunity for our stakeholders and the Government to consider what it is the HRC does well in contributing to health research in New Zealand, and what we might do better. Such a process augments our own emphasis on funding the very best research to enhance the health of New Zealanders

But it all won?t be plain sailing for Joyce as every trougher in the land will be getting a little antsie and nervous about whether their social engineering projects will come under the pump.

Looks like they will, and would explain why he?s cleaning out HRC board members who have become far too accustomed to handing out taxpayer funds to their special pet projects.

Joyce wont have an easy road ahead as these troughers cut it up rough when their funding streams are questioned. They?ll complain of ?political interference? and ?the need to have independent research free from government pressure?.

Yeah right. In a lot of cases funding goes to projects that have the objective of changing government legislation ? take the $5 million going to obesity trougher Associate Professor Cliona Ni Mhcurchu.

So on this basis alone, good on Steve Joyce for looking at the HRC.

Hopefully this is now going to make it a lot harder for troughers to tuck into hundreds of thousands of dollars from the HRC.