23 Apr 2010

More government funding urged for wool research

8:34 am on 23 April 2010

The Labour Party wants the Government to contribute more money for wool research while the industry sorts out its future.

AgResearch is axing more than 30 science jobs because of funding cuts mostly in wool biology and textile research.

Labour's science spokesperson, David Shearer, says that's at odds with a Government task force that identified research and the development of new, value-added products as being essential to the wool industry's long term survival.

He says farmers may have voted against paying any more wool levies to fund research, but that's no excuse for neglecting it and the Government needs to step in to fill the breach.

However, Agriculture Minister David Carter considers the focus at this stage needs to be on marketing rather than science.