The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) “remains committed” to supporting atmospheric science and research at its Lauder station and will not close the facility, Murray Poulter, the chief atmospheric research scientist, announced.
There will be staff cuts at the station, he said, but it would continue to be supported as a “key facility”.
The 31 July comments follow media reports about a recent review of NIWA’s atmospheric science and priorities and, specifically, proposed changes at the Lauder research facility in Central Otago.
Three positions will be disbanded and a new position will be created to help “maintain measurement quality and innovation”, according to Poulter’s statement.
Poulter rejected concerns that the cuts would have repercussions for global atmospheric research by affecting international programmes as well as the integrity of data collected at Lauder in the future.
“The changes will have a small impact on NIWA’s ability to conduct internationally recognised atmospheric research or collect core regular atmospheric measurements at Lauder that feed into international work to understand the drivers of global atmospheric change and climate,” he said.