The facility in Lincoln, called Tuhiraki, is located on land purchased from Lincoln University, and will accommodate almost 300 scientists and support staff once all have moved in from the existing AgResearch facilities nearby. The name Tuhiraki is gifted by local Te Taumutu Rūnanga and references the mahi carried out by Rākaihautū, who – according to tradition – used his kō (or digging stick) to explore, name, and claim the landscape in Te Waipounamu (South Island). Symbolically, Tuhiraki also references the knowledge Rākaihautū released into te ao mārama, the natural world.
AgResearch chief executive Sue Bidrose says the new two-storey, 7600 square metre facility, comprising an open-plan office wing and a science facilities wing, will be a valuable addition to the science community. Being located right next to the university and in close proximity to other research institutes and agriculture businesses, it would also have an important role in connecting people.
“One of the driving factors for this new facility was that our previous buildings were ageing and not providing the best working environment for our people. But, also, we wanted to create a place that inspires people to come and do great work for New Zealand,” Sue says.
“I’m really proud we have a new facility that is welcoming to all, will deliver what the agriculture sector and rural communities need from us, and really adds to the growth and development of the local area too.”