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Mayor Hardaker 'very disappointed' with AgResearch announcement

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

AgResearch Future Footprint announcement: Mayor Hardaker Statement

I am very disappointed to hear the AgResearch decisions announced today affecting Hamilton directly by the relocation of their executive team and support staff from Hamilton to their Lincoln Campus. This decision is not unexpected and AgResearch has been signalling over the last year of its intentions to make changes to their Ruakura campus. The Government has required CRIs to tighten budgets which has meant that they must assess how they run their business.

AgResearch has had a presence across New Zealand with campuses in all the main farming centres (Dunedin, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Christchurch). Rationalisation was inevitable.

I accept that this is a slow change, with relocation not happening until 2016, which I hope will reduce the impact on the affected families.

Hamilton remains home for a strong number of AgResearch scientists and Waikato remains an important science and innovation region, with plenty of growth expected in the innovation, science and agriculture space over the next 10 years.

Hamilton City Council has zoned an innovation zone under our District Plan that takes in the Ruakura campus, Innovation Park and the University, which reinforces the city’s commitment to science and innovation and allocates space for that growth.

Earlier this year I initiated discussions with agricultural organisations and key stakeholders in the Waikato, including AgResearch,

to discuss opportunities to collaborate and strengthen agricultural innovation in the Waikato. There is strong support for the development of a Waikato Agricultural Hub focusing on environmental sustainability, agritechnology industries and agribusiness education which will be developed in the coming months.

The Waikato produces around one third of all New Zealand’s merchandise exports and remains the centre of the dairying industry by volume and value. There is a real willingness to work together to maximise and grow agricultural opportunities in the Waikato.

Julie Hardaker, Mayor, Hamilton City Council

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