The rejection of a call for an independent inquiry into
AgResearch's restructuring plan has been called a ''slap in the
face'' to the people of Otago and Southland.
This comes after Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce
yesterday rejected a call to hold an inquiry after a motion
calling for one was approved at a meeting held by sheep
breeders in Gore on Wednesday.
Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark said Mr Joyce's rejection
was a ''slap in the face'' to people of the South and
In rejecting the motion, Mr Joyce was ignoring the
''substantial concerns'' about AgResearch's plan to slash
Mr Joyce said it was ''not my intention to call for an
''AgResearch is going through a process of further
consultation with its stakeholders and Wednesday's meeting
was part of that.
''I am sure the views of those who attended were heard and
will be properly considered,'' Mr Joyce said yesterday.
One of the challenges AgResearch faced was the level of
investment they received from the red-meat sector, he said.
''An increase in investment with AgResearch would help to
make the case for more investment at Invermay and
elsewhere,'' he said.
He rejected comments made at the meeting that the Government
was not providing enough funding for agricultural science.
''The primary sector has far and away the most money spent on
it by government.''
This comes as AgResearch continues to push ahead with its
Future Footprint Plan, announcing this week more than half of
the $100 million it planned to spend upgrading its facilities
would be spent at Lincoln.