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Wallaceville team must stay together - here

Dr Paul Hutchison National Science Spokesman

6 November 2003

Wallaceville team must stay together - here

The Science Minister must face the fact that the planned closure of the Wallaceville Animal Research Centre is illogical, says National's Science spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison.

"Even the Science Minister himself appears to be coming round to this, with his admission in Parliament yesterday that "Professor Ken McNatty and his team are more likely to stay here than leave".

"The Minister is clearly accepting that the closure of the centre on financial grounds is not valid, and that in strategic science terms the Wallaceville research facility is 'world class'.

"It's good news to hear he's starting to shift his position - but he must act fast to consolidate rather than fragment. It's vital the internationally renowned teams at Wallaceville remain intact and continue their role as a strategically important science business cluster in the Hutt Valley/Wellington region," says Dr Hutchison.

"Staff at the centre are currently under enormous pressure, with the planned closure creating a climate of fear, widespread loss of morale, and at least two key scientists facing disciplinary charges.

"The onus is now on Pete Hodgson to restore confidence in the staff and work with AgResearch to ensure that Wallaceville is consolidated and enhanced," says Dr Hutchison.


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