'I am not convinced AgResearch has met the test set them by
Minister [Steven] Joyce.' - Michael Woodhouse
Immigration Minister and Dunedin-based list MP Michael
Woodhouse is not convinced AgResearch has yet made its case for
shifting scientists from Invermay to Lincoln.
As the debate about the merits of an AgResearch hub being
established at Lincoln, Mr Woodhouse confirmed to the Otago
Daily Times yesterday he had visited Invermay and talked to
There had been a fear that leaving just 20 scientists at
Invermay to deal with farming services and animal services
was a ''death spiral'' number. But Mr Woodhouse had been
''assured'' by AgResearch 20 was the absolute minimum number
of scientists and it was hoped to lift the number to 50
scientists at Invermay in the future.
''We need to test that plan and make sure it is the right
thing to do for New Zealand Inc and New Zealand agriculture.
Can we be confident moving 50 scientists out of 80 from
Invermay is better than moving the 30 from Christchurch to
Invermay? I am not convinced AgResearch has met the test set
them by Minister [Steven] Joyce.''
Mr Woodhouse had had a meeting with AgResearch chief
executive Tom Richardson and expressed his concerns about the
impact on the region and city the reduction in staff at
Invermay would have.
He had made a ''strong point'' of AgResearch being more open
with the community about its plans for the future. The
Minister intended visiting Invermay within the next two weeks
to talk more to staff to try to get a better understanding of
the situation and the risks involved for Invermay.
However, he remained open-minded about the final outcome.