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PSA Welcomes Measured Approach To Merger

Tuesday July 24, 2007

PSA Welcomes Measured Approach To Merger of AgriQuality and Asure New Zealand

The PSA supports the Government’s measured approach towards the merger of the state owned enterprises AgriQuality Ltd and Asure New Zealand Ltd.

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard has today announced the formation of an Establishment Committee to assist with the merger of the two SOEs. AgriQuality provides food safety and biosecurity services and Asure NZ meat inspectors ensure all red meat killed for sale is fit for local and overseas consumption.

“We support the merger of AgriQuality and Asure,” says Richard Wagstaff, National Secretary of the PSA, the union representing 1050 staff at the two SOEs.

“Having two state owned enterprises competing against each other has hampered efforts to improve service delivery and the ability to respond to threats to the country’s biosecurity.”

“Effective biosecurity is crucial for New Zealand and a merger will enable the staff to work together to
take a more strategic approach in this vital area,” says Richard Wagstaff.

Competition between the AgriQuality and Asure NZ has also created career instability and uncertainty for the workforce, which has affected recruitment and retention of skilled staff.

“Merging the two SOEs will create a more stable working environment for the staff, enabling them to focus on providing a quality service and improving our response to biosecurity threats,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“We see the merger as a positive move and are pleased that the union is being consulted about the way its implemented.”

ENDS

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