3 Apr 2014

Fruit fly 'key reason' for funding research

10:01 pm on 3 April 2014

Fruitgrowers say that the latest fruit fly discovery is exactly why the Government shouldn't be cutting funding for biosecurity research.

The Bio-Protection Research Centre, based at Lincoln University in Canterbury, has been told that it will receive no more money from the Tertiary Education Commission.

The grants are worth about $3.4 million a year to the research centre.

Bay of Plenty orchardist Chris Dunn says decisions like this are an example of the Government trying to give up responsibility for biosecurity.

Mr Dunn says that until now good biosecurity research has saved New Zealand's international reputation as a quality food producer.

The research centre was told three weeks ago that it will no longer receive Government funding. The last grant of $20 million was due to last until the end of 2015.

Research centre director Travis Glare said the cut will impact long-term research projects on potential bio-security threats to New Zealand's agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries.