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Steven Joyce 'must hold full independent inquiry'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce must order a full independent inquiry into AgResearch’s restructuring plans, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says.

"The independent inquiry was called for at an angry meeting between sheep and deer farmers and AgResearch in Gore this afternoon, chaired by former National MP Jeff Grant.

"Nearly 100 farmers backed a motion calling on the minister to take this action.

"This is serious. Farmer are critical to the success of AgResearch. Steven Joyce needs to step in now and hold the board to account.

"The full inquiry should include an enhanced status quo option as identified in BERL’s earlier review of the restructure.

"Today's meeting follows news that 92 per cent of New Zealand ram breeders favour keeping research at Invermay. Whether in Northland, the Manawatu or Southland, breeders know their future livelihoods depend upon the science produced at Invermay. They don't want to put it all at risk.

"It is nearly a year since Steven Joyce signed off the AgResearch business case that underpinned its subsequent consultation process. An internal review, an external review and industry feedback all points in the same direction - genetic science is best advanced at Invermay.

"Steven Joyce must take action in the interests of economic development and farmer returns. AgResearch cannot play Russian roulette with New Zealand's exporting future any longer," says David Clark.

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