New Zealand Labour Party

Time to sack AgResearch board and start again

Steven Joyce needs to stop the shambolic AgResearch restructure, sack the board and start again to halt the ongoing long term damage to our science skills and biggest export industry, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark.

“Nearly 20 per cent of all science staff at AgResearch are set to lose their jobs. Thanks to Mr Joyce’s gutting of the science sector, there are few opportunities for them and they will head offshore.

“That’s a loss of skills and knowledge New Zealand can’t afford. It will damage our scientific institutional knowledge as well as lower innovation and international competitiveness in agriculture - our biggest export earner.

“AgResearch’s rolling restructure is a shambles. The Auditor General told AgResearch to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new business case for restructuring. There’s no sign of that and job losses are being shoved through without consultation.

“Given Steven Joyce seems to know more about the restructure than anyone else, it looks like another case of his micro-managing and meddling with the usual shambolic result.

“He needs to step away, sack the board and start the process again to deliver a structure that benefits the long term interests of New Zealand,” says David Clark.