Climate Change scientists no longer wanted by AgResearch

The Crown research institute has confirmed it will cut the jobs of of 33 scientists and 50 technicians during the next year, as part of a restructuring to cope with a $5 million cut in funding.

Their research in greenhouse gases, animal and forage sciences and on-farm tech support is being scaled back, while 27 new roles are being introduced in food security, Maori agri-business, high value foods and innovative food products.

AgResearch chair Sam Robinson said the changes were in response to a changing demand.

“These areas are reducing because the sector doesn’t see the need for them, as agriculture and the need for science that supports agriculture changes … through time,” he said. “There are areas we are increasing our effort in science in response to the sector’s needs.”

But Federated Farmers president William Rolleston said the agriculture industry was in need of climate research, and that should not be sacrificed.

“We want to see a science sector that’s increasing its output not decreasing it, not necessarily picking particular subjects in a vacuum of information. It’s about the overall picture,” he said. “We know the government wants to diversify the economy, and we actually support that, but we don’t want that to be done at the expense of agriculture.”

Amusingly, the jobs that are being canned are the ones that look into animals farting, and what pasture is better for the environment. ?It is a remarkable turn-around by a Government that still hasn’t, officially at least, given up on trying to battle climate change. Read more »

Nathan Guy’s Machiavelli phase short-lived

Just when a Minister showed a little bit of promise, the political winds turn. As?mentioned here?on Monday, Nathan looked as though he was cunningly keeping the?inept AgResearch?out of the Govt inquiry. But then this appears in today?s Dominion Post.

image001-1 Read more »

Nathan Guy makes Machiavelli look soft


Students of political history should put down their heavily-thumbed copies of The Prince, and take a look at how the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy is handling the Government’s inquiry into the whey protein fiasco.

While giving the appearance in media interviews of a possum in the headlights of a farmer?s 4×4, he?s certainly no slouch when it comes to ensuring the Government?s?incompetent AgResearch?institution is protected.

Quickly realising the draft?terms of reference?would have allowed scrutiny of AgResearch?s involvement when including the wording ?Quality and integrity of diagnostic testing? ? and the resulting bollocking of the Government by the opposition, he organised for the terms of reference to be rewritten to amazingly take AgResearch out of the inquiry by simply adding ?quality and integrity of product testing?.? Read more »

Now a case of AgResearch lying to cover its arse


Via the tip-line

There?s the old saying when in the sh*t stop digging.

The?people at AgResearch?don?t seem to know this old adage, instead continue to dig at a more rapid rate.

Here?s?yet another example of AgResearch repeating the line they told?/ recommended to Fonterra to get further work done.

I have it on very good authority that they did NOT do this.? Read more »

AgResearch Kills Stuart Little while Botulism Siouxie basks

Today?s?shocking headline finally bears the truth. AgResearch killed Stuart Little.

See Stuart Little was a little mouse too, lost, looking for a home, but was brutally killed by?Ag Research scientists who are now blaming Fonterra, saying they didn?t confirm anything.

But what?s this? AgResearch?s test ?report said the batch was likely to contain botulism-causing bacteria?, and ?samples likely to be Colstridium botulinum? and ?described all samples as toxigenic?.

Now if you were a company and received a report like that what would you do!? Read more »

Hint to AgResearch, Explaining is Losing

Oh dear what have we here.

Under the pump Crown Research Institute Ag-Research?has popped its head above the parapet, sending out its PR guy to?try and explain the mess and blowback onto Fonterra.

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In a “crisis”, perspective is often the last thing thought of

Yesterday?s Herald actually got something right.?John Roughan?s article was spot on?when he wrote:

Somehow the precautionary element of the announcement was completely lost in the frenzy that followed. Amid all the reports of fearful parents and foreign trade embargoes I for one had missed the fact that the bacterium they had detected might not be clostridium botulinum.

Good point ? the recall was always precautionary. But that didn?t stop officials flipping out.

In a crisis, usually the first question asked is has anyone died. That should be the first question Ministers would want to know. Perhaps this skipped most bureaucrats minds when all and sundry started a global panic.

One example of this was MPI, under Acting DG Scott Gallacher. Whoops. But at least he?s taken responsibility for AgResearch.

Another example was the Ministry of Health. You would have thought someone was bright enough in their comms team to point out that there had been no cases in the world where infant botulism had been linked to infant formula. None, nada, nought, zip, zilch. ?? Read more »

AgResearch under the pump

The?fiasco caused by scientists at Crown Research Institute AgResearch?warrants further WO investigations. The key question is who cops the blame.

Will it be a Board Member?

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Hollywood performance by MPIs Acting DG

New Zealand?s reputation has taken a hit. Now the blame game will gather steam.

MPI was?quick?out of the blocks yesterday taking credit for doing a sterling job while sheeting blame back onto Fonterra. Its acting Director General Scott Gallacher must be thinking after this performance he?s surely in line for the top job, and that he can finally ditch the ?acting? bit from the title.


(see from?3:43?

The only slight problem is that he?s taken responsibility for all of government response saying??what has been paramount for us and all of my colleagues across government since the 2 August is to respond to the information that we?re given and to verify it?? Read more »