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MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand First – Release/Statement

Headline: Staff Cuts Another Hit For Farming And Regional NZ

Staff cuts at Canterbury’s Lincoln University and its Otago Telford campus at Balclutha is devastating for the people concerned, the regions, research and development and primary industries, the backbone of New Zealand.

“It is a direct result of a National government starving agricultural training and research institutions, and taking its focus off primary production,” says Primary Industries Spokesperson Richard Prosser.

“To blame a drop in student numbers is flimsy. This would not have occurred had the sector been robust, and well supported.

“The starvation funding has cut scientists’ ability to work and share their knowledge and research on a one-to-one basis with farmers.

“Regional New Zealand has taken a hit time and again as agricultural institutions fall away. The whole business-like approach and ‘let the market rule’ mantra of neo-liberal National and Labour governments since the 1990s is not working for New Zealanders.

“Our primary sector needs and deserves full support for training, research and development – it’s not rocket science, its sensible,” says Mr Prosser.

“The short-sighted approach is devastating regional NZ.”