Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay has welcomed the announcement that Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre will take over Lincoln University’s Telford Campus, after approval by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and Associate Minister Louise Upston.

Negotiations between Wairarapa-based Taratahi and Lincoln University have been ongoing since 2016, and legislation required Ministers’ approval for the transfer of any associated properties or leases.

“Telford is a strong institution dedicated to supporting the land-based sector and the hands-on, practical nature of the training that they offer is a critical part of an industry that already has a skill shortage,” Mr Barclay says.

“This is a positive outcome and an end to a period of uncertainty. Telford is a significant asset for the Balclutha, and wider Otago, community and I hope they get behind this transfer.

“Throughout the negotiation process, I’ve been in regular contact with the Telford Farm Board, Taratahi and Lincoln, including facilitating local discussions with key stakeholders, and I’ve lobbied in support of this proposal to Ministers Guy and Upston.

“The transfer to Taratahi is the best option for Telford and I want to thank Chief Executive Arthur Graves and the team at Taratahi for the huge amount of work they put in to ensure that a positive solution was developed.

“Telford is an important part of a network of agricultural learning in New Zealand and I’m thrilled that Ministers Guy and Upston have recognised this in coming to their decision this week.”

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