New Zealand's economic imperative - identifying key factors of the global success of New Zealand's Biotechnology Sector

Paterson, Adam Claude
Opara, Oksana
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Master of Policy Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

Evidence suggests that New Zealand suffers from low levels of productivity stemming, in part, from low national productivity, undermined by weaker levels of productivity in some of New Zealand’s key industry sectors. However, there is a lack of research on how to respond to these challenges based on analysis of a successful industry sector experiencing strong growth based on high levels of productivity.

This study focuses on New Zealand’s biotechnology sector which has demonstrated strong productivity performance over the last two decades. This thesis examines the theoretical approaches and frameworks in relation to productivity and that of its determinants by focusing on New Zealand’s productivity performance in comparison with Australia, Finland and Ireland.

The aim is to identify and critically analyse the key factors that influenced, how and in what ways, high productivity in the biotech sector has been achieved. The study’s participants included public and private sector experts who have been involved in the decision-making and policy formation process regarding productivity and/or biotechnology in New Zealand.

The study found that New Zealand’s relative labour and multifactor productivity performance is low compared to Australia, Finland and Ireland, whilst capital services productivity is equal to or higher. New Zealand’s biotech sector has achieved high productivity based on a range of factors which include partnerships between industry and government, long-term strategic development and planning, centralisation of sector representation, leveraging country-specific advantages and by the sector being globally orientated. This study contributes to the scholarship on productivity by identifying the ways public policy could play a formative role in shaping effective interventions in response to challenges New Zealand experiences in order to seek improvements in its productivity performance.

Biotechnology , Productivity , Mixed-Method , OECD , Economics , Policy
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