Hundreds of new jobs for Lincoln

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 12:52 31/07/2013
AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson
SARAH BROOK
NEW DIRECTION: AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson.

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About 215 Crown research workers are likely to be relocated to Lincoln as part of a major national restructuring of AgResearch.

The country's largest Crown research institute has revealed a proposal to invest $100 million into its campus facilities and resources.

Lincoln and Palmerston North would become the two main centres, with about 215 new jobs for Lincoln and 45 in Palmerston North. About 180 jobs would be lost from Ruakura near Hamilton and 85 from Invermay near Dunedin.

The proposal is with staff for consultation.

AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson said the hope was to create a vital agricultural research institute able to increase the agricultural sector's productivity and profitability.

"Our Grasslands and Lincoln campuses will form part of much larger agriculture innovation hubs with key sector partners at those locations,'' he said.

AgResearch's executive team would be based at Lincoln, along with most of the support staff, on the grounds that Canterbury had a much larger population base for retention and recruitment purposes.

Having two large AgResearch campuses with a higher number of co-located teams and staff would see more knowledge sharing, internal collaboration and quality science being delivered, Richardson said.

Lincoln would focus on farm systems and land use, as well as sheep, beef and deer productivity.

Palmerston North's Grasslands campus would focus on food, nutrition, animal health and forage.

AgResearch had strong support from its partners and stakeholders, and other organisations had expressed interest in being involved in the innovation hubs since the proposal was announced in late April.

No roles would be required to relocate before 2016, and staff would be given a minimum of six months' notice before their role was moved, he said.

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