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Science shake-up a huge blow

Dr Paul Hutchison

National Science Spokesman

2 July 2004

Science shake-up a huge blow

National's Science spokesman, Paul Hutchison, says the decision to permanently down-size our most successful scientific facility is a huge blow for science in New Zealand.

He is commenting on an announcement yesterday that staff numbers at the AgResearch Centre at Wallaceville in Upper Hutt are to be reduced from over 130 to just 11.

"Many of the scientists affected have been offered positions at other centres but early indications are that a lot won't accept them. In fact, many are planning to take their talent overseas," says Dr Hutchison.

"These changes don't just affect AgResearch but science and research at ESR and Massey, Otago and Waikato Universities.

"Wallaceville is recognised internationally as a top research and science centre, the scientists that have lost their jobs won't be unemployed for long - job offers will be coming in thick and fast from around the world.

"There was a strong case to build on the strengths of Wallaceville at Wallaceville. The Government must now commit to funding a national biosecurity centre at Wallaceville.

"The Government must show the scientific community that its work is valued and give our scientists a reason to stay," says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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