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Concern over Callaghan, carbon tax muddles science, Belfort bares teeth and Xero’s UK raid

Although it is named after one of New Zealand’s most renowned contemporary scientist, insiders say Callaghan Innovation has stripped out the science and lost credibility over its purely business support approach.

As questions are raised about the quantum of Callaghan’s grants in today’s National Business Review print edition, primary industries reporter Jamie Ball says many people are asking what is the country getting in return.

Elsewhere in the paper, agribusiness professor Jacqueline Rowarth argues households would be better off enjoying more holidays at home and using videolinks for business than accepting the Green Party’s carbon tax proposal, which she says muddles the science.

Chief reporter Duncan Bridgeman exclusively reveals former swindling stockbroker Jordan Belfort’s involvement in the ill-fated Albany Heights residential subdivision in Auckland.

Meanwhile, technology editor Chris Keall details how talent-starved Xero, the listed cloud accounting company, is seeking new recruits from the United Kingdom.

Economics editor Rob Hosking highlights the growing concern about a wide-ranging extension to the tax net being proposed by Inland Revenue.

Is marketing an art, a science, or a mixture of both? Media reporter Victoria Young reignites the age-old debate, this time over the return on marketing investment.

Fiji’s casino ambitious proposal has hit a new snag, business reporter David Williams explains, as development company One Hundred Sands is slapped with a lawsuit by an American Indian tribe.

Nathan Smith, meanwhile, picks apart the frustration of powerful agricultural groups over Japan’s demands for special treatment in the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Shoeshine previews the Abano Healthcare vote on whether to remove Trevor Janes and says ACC remains the key.

In Property, editor Chris Hutching outlines Wellington businessman Clem Griffiths’ plans to downsize his commercial property portfolio.

New Zealand Initiative executive director Oliver Hartwich peers into the inequality debate started by French economist Thomas Piketty, and says it is developed nations’ competition for making it harder for low-skilled workers in developed countries to improve their incomes.


  • Executive Health highlights new research from University of Auckland which discovers the ways skin cells deal with inflammation that may prove useful in treating skin diseases.
  • Margin Call says private equity activity, including that involving Australia-based Private Equity Partners, means it has never been a better time to buy or sell a business
  • In Tray exclusively reveals where the Internet Party stands

All this and more in today’s National Business Review. Out now.

Comments and questions

Callaghan was a mistake from day one. It should have been established only as a business facilitation business and left the science in IRL.

trying to marry the two was never going to work and is not only confusing for the organisation but also creates a major conflict.

I am not sure if they have actually worked out what they are doing, but as an outsider, who occasionly tries to work with them, there is no improvement on the previous incarnations and they were pretty unfriendly - i.e. difficult to deal with.

It appears the previous comment was written by either a scientist or a mad inventor. We have had a fantastic experience with Callaghan. We were fortunate enough to receive a small grant and some great advice and introductions.
The result is a recently launched new product which we are now exporting to Holland with the rest of the EU now on our radar. Prior to our involvement with Callaghan we were an import & distribution business
This absolutely could not have happened without their support.
These nay Sayers need to open their eyes to the opportunity brought by Callaghan - we did and it has worked for us and I believe NZ Inc.