Otago Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Ali Copeman signs a
petition to save Invermay jobs launched by Dunedin North MP
David Clark (centre) and former Invermay director Dr Jock
Allison yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A petition to overturn a decision to slash jobs at
Invermay was launched by Dunedin North MP David Clark in
Meanwhile, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce hit
out at Labour for being ''constantly negative about the
Dunedin economy'' and for attempting to politicise
AgResearch's decision to shift about 75 jobs from Invermay.
The petition was launched in the Octagon yesterday, the first
to sign it being the new Otago Chamber of Commerce
chairwoman, Ali Copeman. Mr Clark said he hoped the petition
to Parliament would force Mr Joyce and the Government to
listen to the concerns of people in Otago and Southland.
''Steven Joyce hasn't listened to the appeals to save
Invermay. He indicated that he is seeking more feedback, but
has received several detailed reports showing the flaws in
the proposed restructure.
''If he won't listen to them [the reports] he should listen
to the people of Otago,'' Dr Clark said.
He and others would be seeking signatures at Thieves Alley
Market day on Saturday and the petition would also be taken
around the region and to Waimumu Southern Field Days, Dr
Former Invermay director Dr Jock Allison, who was present for
the launch, said it was ''not too late'' to get the decision
The petition was ''part of the puzzle'' in the fight against
AgResearch's decision, he said.
Commenting on the launch of the petition, Mr Joyce said Mr
Clark and Labour's ''constant'' attempts to politicise the
issue were ''disappointing''.
''As I've said repeatedly, I am thoroughly testing the
AgResearch proposal with the board of directors.
''However, ultimately it's a decision for the board.''
Labour needed to ''stop being constantly negative about the
Dunedin economy'', he said.
''In the latest household labour force survey released today,
the unemployment figure for Otago is 4.4%, the third-lowest
in the country,'' he said.