AgResearch confirms science staff reductions

AgResearch Chief Executive Tom Richardson today confirmed reductions in scientist and technician roles at AgResearch because of changing sector need – and therefore revenue – in some areas.

“The decision is that there will be a net reduction of 14 scientist and 37 technician roles in FY16. This is five fewer than the original proposal.

“This decision follows a robust consultation process with our staff. We received nearly 100 submissions, which were analysed by a team of AgResearch staff, including science staff. They endorsed the bulk of the proposed changes; and recommended a small number of changes to the proposal, which we’ve taken on board.

“In making these decisions, we wanted to ensure minimal impact on our science strategy; the ability to continue to deliver relevant science for the sector, both in the short and long-term; and achieving the financial savings needed to meet the drop in net science revenue,” Dr Richardson said.

“The changes are consistent with our science strategy and shifts in sector need and R&D investment. We are not completely stopping research in any particular area.

“I’m confident that we are focused on areas of growth and demand and will continue to deliver to meet the needs of the sector. The changes will not impact on our ability to bid for new work or deliver to our existing commitments.

“Now we’ve made decisions, supporting the affected staff is our first priority. This is hard for our people and we will be doing all we can to assist them. This will take some months to work through,” Dr Richardson said.

In FY16, AgResearch is also recruiting for 18 new scientist roles and nine new technician roles in areas of growing private sector and Government investment. Ten of these new roles (six scientists and four technicians) have already been filled.