AgResearch jobs on the move
A proposed restructuring of AgResearch could see 180 jobs moved from its Ruakura campus near Hamilton, and 85 positions from its Invermay campus near Dunedin to other parts of the country.
No roles would be moved before 2016.
The positions would be moved to AgResearch's other campuses in Palmerston North and Lincoln. After the restructure, Ruakura would have about 90 roles, Invermay about 30 roles, Lincoln about 330 roles and Grasslands at Palmerston North would have 300 roles.
AgResearch's executive team would be based at Lincoln, along with most support roles.
"We chose Lincoln over Palmerston North, on the grounds that Canterbury has a much larger population base for retention and recruitment purposes," AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson said.
"While this has an impact for the local Hamilton and Dunedin economies, the net overall gain for New Zealand will be far greater through delivering more quality science as a result of co-location and increased collaboration," Richardson said.
"While 280 roles are proposed to move, we expect this to be about 240 of our staff, given the fact it's not happening for another three to four years, and there will be natural staff turnover in that time."
The restructuring, expected to cost $100 million, aimed to allow more knowledge sharing and internal collaboration.
"This is a once in a generation opportunity to put AgResearch in the best possible long-term position to do more quality science more effectively and efficiently, and to make a much bigger difference to the agricultural sector's productivity and profitability," Richardson said.
"Our Grasslands and Lincoln campuses will form part of much larger agriculture innovation hubs with key sector partners at those locations.
"Our science at Grasslands will focus on food, nutrition, animal health and forage. Lincoln will focus on farm systems and land use, as well as sheep, beef and deer productivity.
"We will focus activities at our Invermay and Ruakura campuses on specific environmental and farm systems regional needs."
Staff would be given a minimum of six months' notice before their role was moved. Everyone whose role was required to relocate would have their relocation costs paid for by the company.
The proposal is now with staff for consultation, and a final decision is expected in September.
Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker said the news was very disappointing, but not unexpected.
AgResearch has been signalling over the last year of its intentions to make changes to their Ruakura campus.
"Rationalisation was inevitable," she said.