Staff at AgResearch's Invermay campus learned their fate last
week when it was announced that more than half of them were
expected to move north as part of the organisation's $100
When the changes are complete in 2017, 38 staff will remain
at Invermay, up from 26 in the original plan.
The Southern Texel Breeders Association passed a vote of no
confidence or faith in the AgResearch board and executive in
Chairman Hugh Gardyne said the association did not accept
AgResearch's claim it had contacted 150 organisations and 300
individuals, which did not include the Southern Texel
Breeders Association and stud sheep groups closely associated
''AgResearch has vigorously promoted the benefits of the hub
at Lincoln but, in our opinion, not quantified adequately the
adverse effects and loss of value at Invermay,'' Mr Gardyne
AgResearch chief executive Dr Tom Richardson said achieving
the best outcomes for New Zealand was never going to gain the
approval of everyone.Tough decisions had to be made ''in the
face of some passionate disagreement''.
''We understand and respect the efforts individuals and
groups have made - both inside and outside the organisation -
to champion the cause of their particular facilities and
regions. In many respects, these representations have
influenced our thinking and our plans have evolved.''
However, AgResearch's decision was questioned by Beef and
Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ), with chairman James Parsons wanting
an assurance about sheep and beef research.
''Beef and Lamb New Zealand respects it is the call of the
AgResearch leadership as to how it runs its business and
where it locates its staff,'' he said.
''However, before being satisfied, BLNZ requires more
information that suitable plans and mitigations are in place
so our research outcomes are not compromised and science
capability is retained.''
BLNZ's concern was echoed by the Otago Regional Council
(ORC), which said the changes threatened to take valuable
research capability away from Invermay.
ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said he was disappointed with
the outcome, which saw the Invermay genetics team moving to
Lincoln and a large number of science and technical staff set
Mr Woodhead welcomed the decision to increase staff at the
campus from a projected 26 by 2017 to 38, and the proposed
relocation of genomics staff from the University of Otago to