Many thanks to the 12,500 people who signed my petition to Save Invermay. It has sent a clear message that people won’t stand by while the Government makes economically reckless decisions, especially where they also carry an impact on local jobs.
I handed the petition over to my colleague Clare Curran less than a week after the Auditor General published a preliminary report-back on her investigations into the fraught AgResearch restructure. With no adequate business case, the $100 million project is up in the air. In a related Select Committee hearing, the board and senior management were unable to provide assurances that the proposed change would have a positive financial return to the Crown! They admitted retention issues were ongoing, but seemed determined to plough ahead regardless of the weakness of their case.
The Auditor General wasn’t able to draw any firm conclusions about staff losses insofar as they relate to the restructuring. But in the subsequent Select Committee, I exposed the fact that most of the key scientists in the Animal Genetics area have moved on since 2012. All is not well at AgResearch.
My original letter to the Auditor General was also signed by David Parker and Clare Curran. I think it is still worth a read. Many of the issues it raises have not yet been addressed.