New Zealand's leading independent research institute, Cawthron Institute, has finalised the sale of
its Marlborough Laboratory and environmental chemistry testing business, to R J Hill Laboratories.
The environmental chemistry business has been managed from Cawthron's Nelson laboratories.
Cawthron Acting Chief Executive, Daryl Wehner, said "no staff have lost jobs through the sale
although 18 staff were directly affected. Staff currently employed at the Marlborough Laboratory all
secured roles with the new owners."
"The remaining affected staff have found new opportunities within Cawthron or alternative
"We are clearly pleased with this outcome. We value our staff highly and have been pleased to
support them throughout the transition and to have worked with Hill Laboratories to ensure
continued employment for staff in Marlborough."
Daryl Wehner says the sale will enable Cawthron, which is well known for its research in coastal
and freshwater ecosystems as well as its IANZ certified analytical laboratory, to now focus more on
its core, high-end research and testing activities.
"The environmental testing work, which depends on a high throughput, has been a difficult
business to run from a small centre like Nelson. The sale enables us to strengthen and grow the
high-end analytical research and development services for our clients."
"Moving forward we will expand our laboratory work into established areas of strength, such as
research, test development, safety and certification, dietary supplements, algal technologies and
natural toxin testing"”
He says the move will allow Cawthron to play to its core strengths, which have most recently
resulted in the opening up of extremely lucrative new markets through the sale of minute amounts
of complex organic compounds sourced from algae.
"This is a positive step forward for both businesses, streamlining services, and allowing both
Cawthron and Hills to maximise their core specialties, with customers gaining the benefit."
Cawthron will continue to provide all microbiological testing, food chemistry, dietary supplements
and natural toxin testing and test development services from its Nelson laboratories. The
Marlborough and environmental chemistry testing businesses will transfer to Hill Laboratories at
the end of June. Hills will continue to provide existing services from the same premises in
Grovetown Park, Blenheim.
If you have any questions about these changes, please contact: