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Invermay changes could lose money

Invermay changes could lose money

The long-withheld business case for the AgResearch restructure reveals that the whole organisation is put at risk and in one scenario could even lose money for farmers, says North Dunedin Labour MP David Clark.

“The long version of the AgResearch business case has only just been released. It’s no surprise they tried to hide it because it shows their plans have no economic merit whatever and could hurt farm returns.

“Farmers will be angry. It is unacceptable that this business case was kept from them until now. AgResearch has been treating industry stakeholders like mushrooms: keeping them in the dark and feeding them manure.

“AgResearch previously released a shorter redacted version of the business case, in a failed attempt to give the impression of transparency. What we now know is that the public were being fed only half of the story: the part AgResearch thought fit for farmer consumption.

“Five months on from my original request, AgResearch has released a still heavily redacted ‘full’ version of the plan. It leaves many questions unanswered. The released version provides no comfort to stakeholders concerned about the fatally flawed Invermay to Lincoln arm of the restructure.

“The drastic changes also create serious problems for families of scientists at Invermay. Many have partners who will struggle to find good work in Lincoln and will face significantly higher mortgages. They simply won’t move there.

“Instead, the majority of world-class scientists who’ve built Invermay’s international reputation are proposing to leave the organisation to pursue opportunities abroad. Another group are proposing to take early retirement.

“Breeders know the importance of Invermay to their commercial success. In particular sheep meat productivity has doubled and disease incidence in deer has been slashed. AbacusBio and other important industry participants have contributed to extraordinary success in the Ag sector off the back of facilities and research at Invermay.

“Invermay must be saved for the best future for New Zealand’s on-farm productivity.” Dr Clark says.

Ends

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