AgScience wraps up staff consultations on plans for $100m campus restructure

AgResearch has announced it has concluded the staff consultation phase of its plans to reinvest $100 million in its campus infrastructure.

The Crown Research Institute has been consulting with staff on its Future Footprint proposal, which chief executive Dr Tom Richardson says addresses its need to modernise its aging facilities and align its people and infrastructure with its strategy.

The current plans potentially will relocate up to 250 roles.

But no moves are scheduled before 2016 and all four campuses at Ruakura (Hamilton), Grasslands (Palmerston North), Lincoln and Invermay (Dunedin) will be retained.

Dr Richardson says AgResearch will continue discussing its plans with external stakeholders.

“Now that we have completed our consultation with our staff, we will continue to consult with our collaborators and the users of our work to share our thinking behind these changes, and ensuring that we understand and address any concerns they have.

“No relocations are scheduled before 2016, so there is ample time for these discussions to occur. Our plans will continue to evolve as new opportunities present themselves.

“We have considerable support for our reinvestment from many of our primary sector partners, who can see the impact it will have on our ability to collaborate with them, and create environments that will help us to attract and retain great staff,” he says.

“Our overall principle of having a large campus within each of the agriculture innovation hubs at Palmerston North and Lincoln and having our Ruakura and Invermay campuses focusing on regional environmental and farm systems needs remains central to our thinking.”

“We believe these changes will enable us to better deliver the science needed to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth,” he says.

The co-location of skills from AgResearch with those of its partners in universities, other CRIs and industry is expected to provide real benefits for New Zealand agriculture.

The current planned size of each campus is:

* Grasslands (Palmerston North): 310 roles

* Lincoln: 301 roles

* Invermay (Dunedin): 33 roles

* Ruakura (Hamilton): 96 roles

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