NZ Cuts Forest Research: Scion to Slash 10% of Workforce

New Zealand's peak research institute for forest and wood products will have a lower contract from next year.

Tue 14 May 24


New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute for forestry and wood products will shrink “by about 10%”, with the Luxon government taking the axe to Scion, according to a new report by RNZ.

It comes as Scion CEO Dr Julian Elder said that Scion would not be able to retain its current staff load and is expected to contract for less work from next year.

Wood Central understands that the cut will affect 30 jobs (out of more than 280 staff), with cuts targeting foresty exports – with the PSA, NZ’s largest trade union, slamming the decision to target the country’s third primary export earner.

“This again shows how little the government understands how science is key to our future prosperity and ensuring we can adapt to challenges like climate change,” according to the PSA’s assistant secretary Fleur Fitzsimmons.

Ms Fitzsimmons said it was more “dumb stuff” after the NZ government flagged additional job losses for scientists, researchers and others at the Callaghan Innovation and NIWA.

Scion, now based in the “world’s most iconic building” in Rotorua, is one of the world’s leading research institutes for forestry, wood products, wood-derived materials and other biomaterials. It also hosts “Timber Unlimited,” New Zealand’s one-stop-shop for timber knowledge and information.

In an explanation on its website, Scion says it undertakes science, research and innovation in forestry and works with industry, government and iwi to help achieve “positive environmental, social and economic outcomes for New Zealand.”


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