20 May 2011

Scientists say it could have been worse

11:32 am on 20 May 2011

The lobby group the Association of Scientists is satisfied with this year's Budget but says science funding is still below that of other countries.

Spending on science is down $14 million from last year to just under $774 million.

About $18 million has been cut from capital spending and $36 million reallocated from biological and tourism research to other areas over four years.

Twelve million dollars goes into studying earthquakes, while commercially driven research and development-type science gains 24 million dollars.

The president of the Association of Scientists, James Renwick, says the cuts could have been worse, but fundamental theoretical research remains underfunded in New Zealand, compared with other OECD countries.

The chief executive of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Murray Bain, says the important thing is that funding has been allocated strategically to the "areas of the economy that are really going to assist our growth".