Dunedin mayor Dave Cull has called a southern summit to fight job cuts at AgResearch's Invermay campus.
There is anger about an announcement last week that the Crown Research Institute plans to shift 85 scientists, management and support staff from Invermay on the Taieri Plain to a new hub in Lincoln.
The summit will be held on 14 August.
Mr Cull said different stakeholders in southern communities will be affected differently, but all have important views.
He is inviting business groups, all councils south of the Waitaki River, Otago University and Maori runanga to attend to agree on a coherent message to AgResearch and the minister.
AgResearch has not been invited. However, it says it is consulting with staff, not southern leaders.
Chief executive Tom Richardson says he understands why southern regions are unhappy, but now is not the right time for them to try to change the decision.
Dr Richardson says AgResearch will announce its final decisions in October this year when it finishes a formal consultation with its staff and there is no opportunity for input from other stakeholders until after that.