26 Aug 2013

Mayor pushes plan for Waikato agricultural research hub

7:19 am on 26 August 2013

Hamilton's mayor doesn't think AgResearch's proposal to scale back its presence in the city will greatly affect plans to develop a Waikato Agricultural Research Hub.

AgResearch has announced its intention to shift about 180 staff from its Ruakura headquarters at Hamilton as it moves to centralise its operations at Palmerston North and Lincoln.

However, mayor Julie Hardaker says most of AgResearch's scientists at Ruakura will be staying put.

She says research, education and agricultural interests are continuing discussions on building up the already significant science and innovation network there.

Ms Hardaker says two thirds of the jobs in AgResearch's proposal are corporate positions rather than science jobs.

She says there will still be 90 scientists based at Ruakura and it is hoped that the environmental science section will increase.

Ms Hardaker says AgResearch has said its commitment is on environmental science.

She says Hamilton City Council has zoned further land around Ruakura as an innovation precinct.