The CRIs get about $400m of public money each year and AgResearch is the biggest of them. Here are its sources of revenue for the last two financial years for which records are available ($m).
This chart strongly suggests that private funders are calling the shots at AgResearch. That hypothesis is reinforced by statements from AgResearch that cite "customer demand" as the motivation for the sackings. I could ask questions about this all night, but let's just try a few.
- Why can't these commercial customers fund their own research without taxpayers subsidising them to the tune of $60m/year?
- How exactly are farmers expected to benefit from this research?
- Which (if any) AgResearch programmes are entirely motivated by a desire to explore farming systems that might reduce the earnings of input (fertiliser, seed, pesticides) suppliers?