Jobs to come and go in major LIC revamp

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 05:00 08/04/2014

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Up to 50 jobs are expected to go at Livestock Improvement Corporation as a major restructure programme kicks into gear.

However, up to 70 jobs could be added around the country, leaving a net staff gain of around 20. Regardless, some redundancies are expected.

The announcement will be made to staff at the Newstead headquarters on Thursday as the consultation period on the changes ends.

The restructure, mostly at managerial and senior executive level, is aimed at making the company "more farmer-focused", according to the chairwoman of the LIC Shareholders' Council Jenny Morrison.

It was part of a strategy that had been signed off on February 12 by the council and was due to be updated.

"It wasn't out of sync with the normal cycle of refreshing a strategy," she said.

"As a shareholder council we have been asking for a different result. We've been asking for a much more co-operative-looking business, and one that's more farmer focused," Morrison said.

"We're more than comfortable that that is the direction the company should be taking."

The announcement is expected to show an increase in staffing levels in the South Island, and around international marketing.

New chief executive Wayne McNee, who came on board last year, has spoken in the past about his aim to double the rate of LIC's annual revenue growth to 10-20 per cent.

The former Ministry for Primary Industries boss had also spoken of the need to re-orient the business to meet farmers' needs more effectively.

The restructure comes in the wake of AgResearch's controversial announcement that it planned to move 174 Ruakura-based jobs to other parts of the country. The changes won't come into effect until 2016, with 98 people expected to retain their jobs at the Hamilton base.

LIC's recent half-year result showed the company's revenue in the six months to November 30 was $131.5 million, up from $120.1m for the previous six-month period.

Any changes in staffing are expected to take effect on June 1.

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- Waikato Times

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