Scion to Cut 30 Jobs Amid Reduced Government Research Spending

Scion, a New Zealand research institute, proposes to cut 10% of its workforce, mainly scientists and support staff, due to reduced government and industry research spending. The affected employees are based in Rotorua, with the decision sparking criticism from the Public Service Association and concerns for the forestry sector.

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Scion to Cut 30 Jobs Amid Reduced Government Research Spending

Scion to Cut 30 Jobs Amid Reduced Government Research Spending

Scion, a Crown research institute based in Rotorua, New Zealand, is proposing to cut jobs, go, crown approximately 10% of its workforce, due to reduced government and industry research spending. The affected employees are mainly scientists, technicians, and support staff based in Rotorua.

Why this matters: The reduction in research spending and subsequent job cuts at Scion have significant implications for New Zealand's ability to address climate change and maintain its forestry sector, a crucial contributor to the country's economy. This decision may also have a ripple effect on regional areas that rely heavily on the forestry industry for employment.

The decision follows proposed job losses at Callaghan Innovation and NIWA. Fleur Fitzsimons, Assistant Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, criticized the government's move, stating: "Cutting the very agency that is helping to grow such a valuable exporter earner and employer is just more dumb stuff from this government." industry, concerned, set, jobs

Fitzsimons argued that the government's decision undermines the importance of science in ensuring future prosperity and adapting to challenges like climate change. She emphasized that forestry is New Zealand's third-largest primary export earner, employing tens of thousands in regional areas, and that Scion's work is crucial in improving forestry productivity, land management, and addressing climate change impacts.

Scion's chief executive, Dr. Julian Elder, explained that the institute has identified areas to cut costs and assessed work across all scientific and support areas to find 30 roles for review. The goal is to align capacity and capability with expected work in the years ahead, ensuring Scion's ongoing viability as a provider of forestry research, industrial biotechnology, and advanced manufacturing expertise.

Rotorua MP and forestry minister Todd McClay stated that the proposal is a commercial decision, not a result of government cost-cutting. Rotorua Mayor Tania Tapsell expressed empathy for the organization and employees, hoping for certainty soon.

The proposed job cuts at Scion highlight the challenges faced by New Zealand's research institutes amid reduced government and industry spending. As a crucial player in the forestry sector, Scion's work directly impacts the country's economy and its ability to address pressing issues like climate change. The coming weeks will reveal the full extent of the job losses and their implications for the future of forestry research in New Zealand.

Key Takeaways

  • Scion, a NZ research institute, to cut 10% of workforce due to reduced gov't and industry funding.
  • Job cuts mainly affect scientists, technicians, and support staff in Rotorua.
  • Decision may impact NZ's ability to address climate change and forestry sector.
  • Critics argue gov't is undermining science and forestry industry's importance.
  • Scion aims to align capacity with expected work, ensuring ongoing viability.