10:00 AM, 20 November 2017

Call for comment - Draft HERA Public Policy Position 2017

HERA advocates on behalf of our members where we feel we can make an informed contribution – and this is R&D and industry development.

And as a result, we've put together a comprehensive policy position document aimed at informing decision makers and in particular the new government on what we believe is important to propel our economy and New Zealand’s prosperity further.

Reviewed by our Executive board, the document is written from our metals-based engineering industry perspective with a focus on strengthening sustainable local manufacturing.

We invite your feedback  as we’re more than happy to consider additional points of view for this living document.

Research that provides facts to support advocacy work

HERA is a unique organisation that’s both a research and an industry association. One element asks us to research the facts, and the other to do industry advocacy.

Unfortunately this isn’t always easy to combine, and at times raises conflict of interest. We resolved this issue in our rules by limiting our advocacy to items we believe we can speak with confidence - and this is R&D and industry development relating to our sector.

The 2017 Policy Position Paper is a review of previous versions, taking account of the position of the incoming government. Our intention is to present the document to key ministers such as the Ministers for Economic Development and Science and Innovation, and also make it widely available to key stakeholder such as government departments and industry associations. 

We must put the issues on the table!

Our focus on public policy development gets it right on first principles when it comes to New Zealand economic development policies. We discuss this in three topic areas:

1)     Industry transformation,

2)     Low-emission economy, and

3)     Building and construction innovation.

At times we may be a bit critical and undiplomatic, but it’s our view to put these issues on the table, even if controversial - so they can be addressed. We’re always willing to listen to other arguments and if needed change our position. 

We achieved this under our industry transformation policy points. Explaining why our high value metals-based manufacturing industry is so important to the New Zealand economy and why targeted support of them transforming into a sustainable future adds value to  our country in the long term. Our recommendations cover industry innovation policy and especially what policies exist to increase the all-important Business Expenditure on R&D (BERD).

In the low emission economy we focus mainly on the role our industry can play to help New Zealand achieve its Paris Agreement targets. Our potential contribution to reducing our processing industry’s emission is substantial. And our recommendations include putting realistic prices on carbon emissions. As well as targeted support for low carbon emission technology development in niche markets where we have application opportunities.

In building and construction one area of our focus is policies which improve housing affordability by challenging industry to become more productive. We’re also concerned with competition from imports which don’t meet our product conformance requirements and threaten our industry - here, government actions to level the trade playing field are recommended.  

Speaking our mind on what is important

Forming a position on public sector policy that affects our performance and sustainability potential is a must  for every responsible industry participant.

In the time of social media and much franker discussions on our issues, it’s our responsibility to speak our mind on what we feel is important and encourage advocacy on our industry’s behalf.

Our policy position document works to achieve just this. Not only providing policy recommendations, but explaining why the proposed recommendations are made, and supported by the ammunition to argue the case. 

Have your say!

You can access our Draft position on Public Policy 2017 here. Getting through the 30 plus pages of the document is informative, and does take a bit of time – but we believe it’s crucial you do. 

That's because we need to capture everyone’s take on these important points so we represent our members fairly – and we can’t do that if we don’t know what you’re thinking. Whether you agree or not, you need to tell us your views!

Send an email to our Director Dr Wolfgang Scholz on wolfgang.scholz@hera.org.nz or by phone+64 9 262 4848.

Please note, we’re using this opportunity to consult with you, and will assume if we don’t hear from you that you agree with what we say and support our position stated.