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New Zealand Crop & Food Research and HortResearch to investigate possible merger


New Zealand
August 13, 2008

The Boards of HortResearch and Crop & Food Research have received approval from the Minister of Research, Science & Technology Pete Hodgson to investigate merging the two organisations. This approval follows a request made to the Minister by the Boards.

The Chairmen of the two Crown Research Institutes say the two organisations have complementary skills and work closely with a range of important sectors including the horticulture, food and seafood industries, to deliver benefit to New Zealand.

Crop & Food Research chairman Rodney Wong says a merger could offer potential for new opportunities and greater benefits. “This includes a more robust critical mass around research for New Zealand’s horticulture and food industries.

“The two organisations already collaborate across many research programmes in a range of sectors. A merged organisation would serve to enhance and strengthen the collaborative science taking place and deliver innovation for industry faster and more efficiently.”

HortResearch chairman Jim McLean says the increased scale of the merged organisation would enable the business to successfully and more quickly tackle emerging issues for New Zealand. “This includes such things as the sustainability challenges facing our food exports in international markets, and the expanding global demand for food.

“While there would be economies of scale achieved by a merger, it’s really about two successful businesses merging to create one of greater critical mass which is sustainable in the long term, and able to deliver even greater value to New Zealand and to national and international clients.”

In addition, he says the scale of the merged organisation would potentially offer greater professional and development opportunities for staff. It would also enhance the ability to recruit and retain top staff in areas where there are specific skill shortages.

A final decision will be made by the shareholding Ministers in late September. To inform that decision the Boards will prepare a report which will include feedback from staff and PSA obtained via consultation.

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