2 May 2013

Ag scientist critical of content in list of challenges

1:02 pm on 2 May 2013

A New Zealand agricultural scientist says the Government's merging of two diverse fields in its National Science Challenges was a big mistake.

A Government science panel initially identified 12 key challenges and biosecurity and biodiversity were separate.

Science Minister Steven Joyce said the panel agreed to merge the biodiversity and biosecurity fields and ditch another proposal, reducing the total number of challenges to 10.

NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science past president John Lancashire said the Government merged biosecurity and biodiversity for administrative convenience.

He said they need to be treated seperately, as both are in a state of dissaray.

Mr Lancashire said New Zealand is also facing a catastrophic decline in its biodiversity - which is one of the key drivers of tourism and the economy.