Sacked Niwa scientist Jim Salinger has stepped up his unpaid work at Auckland University as he awaits the outcome of court proceedings.

Dr Salinger has moved into the offices of the University of Auckland School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, where he has been an honorary research fellow since last year.

"It's not paid but it gives me a place to work and an email and things," he said.

Dr Salinger said he would use his time to catch up on his work as president of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology for the World Meteorological Organisation.

He is taking legal action against Niwa and mediation is set for Wednesday.

The scientific world has reacted angrily to news that the prominent climate scientist was sacked allegedly for failing to ask bosses if he could talk about the weather.

The president of the Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science, John Lancashire, a former manager at Niwa's fellow crown research institute AgResearch, said his overwhelming reaction was one of extreme embarrassment for New Zealand.

"We are exposed as an immature, bureaucratic and small-minded country who cannot manage creative people.

"Much of science now is run by managers, not scientists, and managing scientists is not the same as managing other businesses."

Dr Lancashire said in other countries scientists were managed by other scientists.

"We seem to have gone down this other route and I don't think it's working too well."

Much of the criticism of Dr Salinger's sacking has focused on the commercial structure of CRIs and whether it is appropriate for managing taxpayer-funded science.

Niwa's chief executive, John Morgan, began his career in sales and marketing and went on to run science companies, including AgriQuality and Orica New Zealand, before being appointed head of Niwa two years ago.

Dr Salinger and Niwa can't comment on the dismissal while the case is going on.