New Zealand as the ‘knowledge society’: The foresight project and the tertiary white paper

Michael A. Peters
Vol 19, Number 2, p.189
A comprehensive set of reforms was instituted by the National Government in 1990 under Simon Upton, the Minister of Research, Science and Technology. The reforms were based on a number of principles which originated in public choice theory and served as a basis for the restructuring of the public sector as a whole. Investing in Science for Our Future (MoRST, 1992) presents an early snapshot of the Government's statement of science priorities in the 1990s. It is abundantly clear that a certain instrumental view of knowledge underlies the document. The overall strategic direction for New Zealand science emphasised a partnership with the private sector, a concentration of resources in those research areas where result can be readily exploited for economic gain, a concentration of effort on research in economic sectors which already have a competitive advantage. In essence, this view represented a market model of knowledge.