AgResearch Ltd (formerly known as New Zealand Pastoral Agriculture Research Institute Limited) is one of New Zealand's largest Crown Research Institutes with over 800 staff and revenue of NZ$160.7 million in the year to June 2014.
Main areas of research
AgResearch exists to serve the agriculture and biotechnology sectors of New Zealand industry.
AgResearch was created along with New Zealand's other Crown Research Institutes in 1992. In AgResearch's case, this was largely by merging the pastoral agriculture-related portions of MAFTech (the research arm of the then Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) which had predominantly carried out animal research, with the agriculture-related portions of DSIR, which had predominantly carried out research on forage plants.
AgResearch has grown over time by acquiring research organisations "down" the value stream from its initial on-farm emphasis, such as the former Meat Industry Research Institute of New Zealand (MIRINZ) in 1999 and the former Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ, which had been rebranded as Canesis) in 2007.
A plan called "Future Footprint" was announced in 2013 to concentrate resources at the Grasslands site in Palmerston North and Lincoln campus near Christchurch. This involved the transfer of about 200 staff mostly from Ruakura (Hamilton) and Invermay (Dunedin) sites. There were reports that a substantial number of staff left the CRI after Future Footprint was announced and staff morale was poor with redundancies being considered in September 2015. About 50 scientific staff were made redundant in 2016. The government approved the restructure in June 2016.
AgResearch's science capability is divided into six groups: Animal Productivity, Forage Improvement, Food & Bio-based Products, Animal Nutrition & Health, Innovative Farm Systems and Land & Environment. Science staff operate in five portfolio groups representing major sectors: Dairy On-farm, Dairy Pasture-to-plate, Meat & Fibre On-farm, Meat & Fibre Paddock-to-Consumer and Agricultural Policy & Maori Agribusiness.
AgResearch has research campuses at locations around New Zealand, including:
- Ruakura, near Hamilton
- Grasslands and the Hopkirk Research Institute, near Palmerston North
- Lincoln, near Christchurch
- Invermay, near Dunedin
- "Annual Report 2013/14" (PDF). AgResearch. 27 August 2014. pp. 2, 26.
- "AgResearch, Lincoln University merger planned". The New Zealand Herald. 10 March 2009.
- "AgResearch and Lincoln University announce intent to develop a joint venture". AgResearch. 11 August 2009.
- "Future Footprint". AgResearch. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- Piddock, Gerald (21 September 2015). "AgResearch redundancies expected this week". NZ Farmer.
- "Fears many AgResearch staff leaving". Radio New Zealand. 25 July 2014.
- Elder, Vaughan (28 February 2015). "Clark 'alarmist' over AgResearch". Otago Daily Times.
- "AgResearch confirms job cut talks". Radio New Zealand. 21 September 2015.
- "AgResearch to lay off 5 fewer scientists/techs". Radio New Zealand. 29 October 2015.
- "$133m AgResearch restructure gets go-ahead". Radio New Zealand. 2 June 2016.