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ORC response to AgResearch restructuring decision

Media Release - 29 May 2014

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead says AgResearch’s final restructuring plans released today still threaten to rob its Invermay campus of much of its valuable research capability despite the company’s decision to reduce the number of planned redundancies.

“I am very disappointed to see the genetics team moving to Lincoln and the large number of science and technical staff still moving,” Mr Woodhead said.

“There is a huge risk of a loss of experience and crucial staff as a result and I hope AgResearch works aggressively to ensure staff are looked after.”

“We are concerned that AgResearch will be fit for purpose at the end of this restructure - science is about people and not buildings. Our work historically with Invermay staff has centred on collaborating to produce good environmental outcomes.”

“This proposal has been roundly condemned by the industry it serves, and ram breeders in particular. Clearly AgResearch has not listened to key stakeholders and their own staff,” Mr Woodhead said

“I would urge the AgResearch board and senior management to reflect again on the proposed scale of this restructuring and the important scientific, social, and economic consequences of going down such a radical path.”

Mr Woodhead said he welcomed AgResearch’s decision to increase the number of staff at the campus from a projected 26 by 2017 to a projected 38, and the proposed relocation of genomics staff from the University of Otago to the campus.

He was also pleased to see the proposed retention of the deer herd, deer research staff, and sheep farm at Invermay.

Despite these concessions, AgResearch’s revised plan would still be a blow to many Invermay employees and their families and the wider Otago-Southland community which the campus services, Mr Woodhead said.

For more information contact

Stephen Woodhead
Chairman
ORC
Ph 027 280 1635

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