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Oct 30 2022

Director quits Callaghan Innovation board, calls for investigation

Biotech entrepreneur Rachel Kelly (Photo: supplied)

A director of the government’s innovation agency has resigned over “unreconciliable difference in values” and called for investigations into evidence of wrongdoing uncovered in recent months.

Rachel Kelly, co-CEO of biotech startup Taylored Technologies, announced her resignation on LinkedIn, writing that she had “experienced serious conflict over my values and the decisions made by the board, namely regarding the things we learned during recent due diligence activities and subsequent OIAs”.

That investigation had shed light on behaviour by “other businesses with serious implications that, in my opinion, shouldn’t be tolerated or at the very least…investigated by the correct authorities”.

“I’m choosing not to sit back and do nothing when I see bullies continue to bully,” she added.

Biotech entrepreneur Rachel Kelly (Photo: supplied)

Kelly did not make any specific allegations, but wrote that she wanted “a light to be shone very brightly on the truth of this situation”.

“I want good people/organisations who got caught in the middle of this situation to be given safe passage through,” she wrote, and “I want any villains and allegations of this situation to be graciously exposed, with proof of what they’ve done, and justice for their victims.”

Callaghan Innovation is a Crown agency tasked with supporting the commercialisation of science, engineering, technology and design in New Zealand. It is named after the late Sir Paul Callaghan, who championed the role of science in New Zealand’s economic success.

Alcohol law reform to address liquor licensing concerns

Members of Communities Against Alcohol Harm protesting outside a liquor store in Ōtara, July 2021. (Photo: Justin Latif)

The government is to announce plans for alcohol law reform that will give more power to community members opposed to liquor stores in their area.

Speaking to Q&A ahead of a media appearance later today in Papakura, justice minister Kiri Allan said the proposed legislation aims to address community concerns on alcohol sales.

The reforms will come in two stages, the first focused on changing alcohol licensing law to make it easier for opponents to liquor licences to have their say.

That will include “removing the unnecessary formality of [licensing] hearings, including the ability for cross-examination”, said Allan.

The second stage will look at tightening the rules on alcohol sponsorship and advertising.

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick has already proposed an alcohol reform bill that covers similar ground. However Allan told Q&A the issue deserved an “all-of-government response”, which is why the government was moving forward with its own legislation.

Late last month a 6000-signature petition was delivered to parliament calling for MPs to support Swarbrick’s bill.

Rugby league veteran Graham Lowe has also spoken out in recent weeks about government inaction over alcohol sponsorship in sport.