Niwa performing better after job cuts - boss

Last updated 09:23 21/02/2013

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Job cuts at Niwa have boosted the institute's focus on science, without depleting its institutional knowledge, chief executive John Morgan says.

He was asked at a parliamentary select committee financial review hearing yesterday whether pressure on Niwa to create returns for shareholders and streamline the organisation had created a situation in which it was losing institutional knowledge.

"Do you feel we are still holding enough scientists to do the science work we need without being desperate?" NZ First MP Tracey Martin asked.

Mr Morgan said redundancies were "always tough . . . but quite frankly we think we've strengthened our capability and we're absolutely confident we've got it right".

The review showed 18 jobs had gone over the past financial year. "We just made a decision that we wanted to focus on fewer things and do them better," he said. He also defended last year's job cuts at the Lauder atmospheric research station in Otago by saying ozone and UV studies had been "exhausted" and there were "better ways to spend our money in atmospheric science".

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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