Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Hamilton Job Losses should be fought against

Hamilton Job Losses should be fought against

The announcement two weeks ago by AgResearch of a restructuring proposal which will lead to 180 science-related jobs being lost from Hamilton's Ruakura campus has bought deafening silence from the leaders of the city.

By contrast, Dunedin's Mayor and Council, supported by its University, business leaders and surrounding Councils, is working hard to try and reverse the 85-job cut proposed down there, and is very proactively calling the Government to account on the issue.

Six days ago, I requested that Hamilton City Council's CEO and Mayor place the item on the Agenda of today's Council meeting for discussion – hoping to spark some fight amongst Councillors who were privately telling me the job losses were "terrible."

The CEO, who is also Deputy Chair of the AgResearch Board, forwarded my request to a mid-level Council manager, who has no authority to place items on Council agendas. 

The Mayor did not answer me, until I renewed my request to her at the start of this week. She told me she felt "no need to have AgResearch on the agenda", but that Councillors could have a private "team discussion about it if they want."

It does the CEO and Mayor no credit at all that they have refused to provide a forum for discussion of these job losses, which will seriously affect the food and agriculture-related research hubs that have been developed in Hamilton.

Along with Councillor Wilson, I am attempting to call a special meeting of Council to force a formal discussion of this issue. We need 5 Councillor signatories to call this meeting – I hope there are enough concerned Councillors to reach this target.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Comments in the media by the Mayor and some Councillors have confused the issue. They feel we should not be discussing the CEO's membership of the AgResearch Board and any conflict of interest he might have – fair enough, but are they also saying we should not be discussing the loss of 180 jobs from one of our key industries? I hope not. 

The question of Mr Harris' involvement on the AgResearch Board is something only he can legally decide, and is not part of our call for the special meeting.

I have made my own personal view clear – I believe the position of the CEO on the AgResearch Board is untenable. When someone is paid the amount he is to lead the City Council, then that is where first loyalties lie. We cannot force Mr Harris to step down from a position that is clearly in conflict with his Council role – only he can decide that.

To their credits, some members of the city community have called for the 180 jobs to be retained in Hamilton; business leader Sir William Gallagher, former Mayor Bob Simcock, Waikato University Agribusiness Professor Jacqueline Rowarth and new Council candidate Anjum Rahman have all publicly stated this view in the last few days.

But deafening silence from the Council.

@davemac7
Dave Macpherson
Mayoral Candidate – Hamilton, NZ
https://www.facebook.com/davemacformayor
https://twitter.com/davemacpherson7
http://davemacpherson.blogspot.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two


The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...
More


 
 

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.