The chairman of a Southland sheep breeding association is
calling for a ''thorough audit'' of AgResearch over its
decision to gut Invermay.
Southern Texel Breeders Association president Hugh Gardyne
said the association was concerned about AgResearch's
direction in a letter to its board, chief executive and
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.
''We request a reversal of the decision to close Invermay and
a thorough audit of AgResearch spending to ascertain the
areas of waste contributing to this current condemnation of
the Invermay campus,'' Mr Gardyne said.
Invermay enjoyed strong regional support, and not having
access to a fully staffed facility in the South would be a
major loss for farmers, breeders and other users from the
region, he said.
The Lincoln and Invermay climates were ''vastly different'',
which was another reason to keep a strong facility in the
Mr Gardyne also felt recent comments by AgResearch chief
executive Tom Richardson expressing interest in investing in
dairy farms in Otago and Southland showed ''poor judgement'',
when there were already dairy farms run by ''industry good''
organisations in Telford in South Otago and Thornbury in
He also believed AgResearch failed to consult properly with
farmers and other end users over its Future Footprint plan.
Dr Richardson said its Future Footprint proposal had been
''thorough'' and involved staff, farmer and industry
organisations, including Beef and Lamb New Zealand and
''We are continuing to work closely with all our industry
stakeholders throughout the process, and we have offered to
meet with Mr Gardyne and his association members to discuss
our plans with them,'' he said.
The plan would not come at the expense of ''regionally
''The Invermay campus will continue to have a group of
scientists that will work with farmers and other regional
stakeholder groups,'' he said.
Any decision on the purchase of dairy farms would be made
next year ''following due diligence and consultation with