Invermay report joins the dots
MP for Dunedin North
Dunedin’s two electorate MPs David Clark and Clare Curran welcomed the release of a Dunedin City Council sponsored report into Invermay and its prospects, saying the report pulls no punches in asking whether Agresearch’s Board has done enough homework.
“The report clearly and concisely lays out the nature of the hub already built around Invermay. It describes the major economic contribution hundreds of people interacting with Invermay make. Invermay’s track record of increasing agricultural productivity marks it out as a world class facility”, the MPs said.
“In pointing to the strengths of the existing hub, and the failure of Agresearch’s past restructurings, the report provides a reality check on the proposal to parachute world-leading researchers into an immature genomics centre at Lincoln”.
“Given just seven out of twenty-five scientists shifted in the previous restructuring that required a move from Wallaceville to Invermay, it is daft to suppose a majority of expert scientists would not be lost in this move.
“Scientists we’ve spoken with say they will not be shifting. We’ve yet to meet one scientist who plans to shift to Lincoln. Older scientists who lead the world are threatening to retire. Younger scientists say they will head overseas. The proposal is a disaster waiting to happen.”
“By submitting a thoughtful, well-researched and challenging report to Minister Joyce, the Otago and Southland representatives have provided Steven Joyce with the questions Agresearch’s Board must answer.
“Minister Joyce must take the helicopter view as Economic Development Minister. He will want to know about wider impacts on New Zealand’s GDP, not just short term savings for Agresearch.
“It is paint by numbers from here. Steven Joyce has ambitions for a strong research hub supporting private enterprise to grow our economy. That hub already exists. Dismantling it will do untold harm to economic growth not just in Dunedin, but across New Zealand’s agricultural economy.
“The submission to the Minister of Economic Development - that he shouldn’t fix Invermay because it isn’t broken - will ring loud in Steven Joyce’s ears, particularly in light of his Government’s goal of doubling agricultural productivity by 2025”, the MPs said.