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Crop & Food Research: acknowledgement

Crop & Food Research: acknowledgement

The overwhelming support Crop & Food Research has received following the tragic loss of seven staff members in an air accident on Friday 6 June is deeply appreciated, said Board chairman, Richard Bentley.

Speaking after a memorial service in Christchurch Cathedral, Mr Bentley thanked the city and the Dean and all those who have offered assistance.

"People at all levels in government, in the science community, our clients and commercial partners, and the community have expressed their support and offered practical help. Messages and flowers have poured in from around New Zealand and overseas and our staff are simply overwhelmed by them," he said.

"On behalf of the staff and the Board I would also like to publicly acknowledge and thank Paul Tocker, Crop & Food Research's chief executive.

"He has demonstrated the highest levels of leadership in adversity. His balance and personal strength through these difficult days have been a real rallying point for everyone involved in this tragedy and this has materially assisted our staff to cope with this tragedy and to help them come to terms with the loss of colleagues and friends.

"And I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous support the families have received from the Police; Inspector Derek Erasmus, Detective Sergeant Dorothy McPhail and the CIB staff, and the Victims' Support Unit.

"Above all, on behalf of the institute, I would like to pay tribute to the staff members we've lost. Each was special, each lived full lives and each leaves behind a large community of grieving families and friends. They were dedicated to their jobs and their deaths leaves a huge gap in our corporate capability. They will be really missed and our deepest sympathy goes out to their families and friends."

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