Retaining Invermay's deer farm and research capability is the
best possible outcome, industry leaders say.
New Zealand Deer Farmers' Association chairman Kris Orange,
of Geraldine, said the industry ''couldn't ask for a better
outcome'' than the plan to retain the 900-strong deer herd at
Invermay and its associated research capability.
AgResearch announced yesterday as part of the next phase of
its Future Footprint plans that Invermay's three deer
scientists would be retained at the campus. An additional
scientist would also be added to the team.
''There's some fantastic staff down there and we always ran
the risk that if they were asked to shift, [some] wouldn't
go,'' Mr Orange said.
The decision gave the staff ''some stability'' and would help
to continue ''the good work AgResearch has been doing''.
''We would struggle to find a better outcome than that,'' he
AgResearch chief executive Dr Tom Richardson said the
Invermay farm was retained to ''help secure its future as a
world-class science facility''.
''The changes we have made to the plan will enhance that
role,'' Dr Richardson said.
Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) deputy chairman Jeremy Bell,
of Wanaka, said he was pleased with the changes to the
AgResearch's plans and it was a good outcome for Invermay and
the deer industry.
''While we accepted the strategic rationale for Future
Footprint, we have been concerned throughout that such
strategic change can be very disruptive and can contribute to
a loss of important people,'' he said.
DINZ believed the plans stuck a balance between expanding
hubs at Lincoln and Grasslands while keeping farms systems
scientists at Invermay, he said.
''AgResearch gave a commitment from day one to the provision
of on-farm deer research and we are very pleased that they
have chosen to retain the Invermay farm for this purpose,''
''It is a wonderful facility and will, of course, be handily
located for the deer farm systems team.''
The outcome reflected the level of communication between DINZ
''We have been engaging with them quietly and ensuring we
have been heard,'' he said.
DINZ was aware of farmers' concerns but had preferred
one-on-one discussions with AgResearch, rather than public
debate, he said.
''We feel that we have had a good engagement with AgResearch
throughout its consultation process and that we've had
It was not his place to comment on the relocation of other
staff from Invermay, although it was ''obviously quite a
sensitive time for staff'', he said.
DINZ would continue to communicate with AgResearch about the
plans in the coming weeks. Dr Richardson said AgResearch
remained ''responsive to new opportunities which may further
influence our future plans''.