Our sector has a strong history of developing young people who love working with plants and building their skills and knowledge. We are working with our members, industry partners, tertiary providers and the Government to reignite the training programmes and qualifications that have been so important to our sector.  

 Lincoln Memorandum of Understanding

In July 2022, NZPPI was delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Lincoln University to establish a national Centre of Excellence for plant production. This Centre, based at Lincoln, will provide extension, research and capacity-building programmes for our industry, from breeding and germplasm through to the production and marketing of plants and plant products. The overall aim is to drive productivity and resilience in our industry through:

  • accelerating the adoption of innovations
  • technical and extension services for NZPPI members and our partners.
  • establishing new models for horticulture education, in the regions and in the workplace.  

Alongside this partnership with Lincoln, sits an innovation network model for plant production. The framework will give our members access to expertise from Lincoln and through its international networks. This is a step change for our industry.  It will put plant producers in the driving seat, making science and education relevant and accessible, as well as cheaper and faster.  Through our relationship with Lincoln, NZPPI can bring together the resources and know-how needed to establish the Centre of Excellence plus regional and local centres where extension and education activities can be delivered.  


The Young Plant Producer competition (formerly called Young Achiever) recognises the best young people in our sector and enables them to take the next step in their personal and career development.

The two-day event pushes entrants to learn valuable new skills, gives them exceptional networking opportunities with industry leaders, and a boost to their careers. Each year our Young Plant Producer joins the winners of other horticulture industry competitions in the Young Horticulturalist of the Year.

Check out the Young Plant Producer website for more information and how and when to enter.



In July 2022, we announced the establishment of the Carol Fraser Industry Training Award (Fraser Award) in memory of Carol Fraser who founded Growing Spectrum with her husband Peter. Carol, who played an extremely active role in industry training and the professional development of plant producers. This award, supported by the Fraser family, will continue Carol’s educational legacy through its support of those outstanding individuals who have a passion for plants, for training and education, and for our industry. The inaugural award was presented at the Conference 2022 awards dinner by Carol’s son Michael to Rural Design nursery manager, Dani McBride, our 2021 Young Achiever.

Careers & Education

With about 4000 people employed in our sector and many unfilled jobs, there are plenty of opportunities for people to join our industry and pursue an exciting and rewarding career. 

We work with other primary organisations to identify the best structure for a Primary Workforce Development Council to represent our sector.

This work includes:

  • Developing our industry qualifications to ensure that they are relevant
  • Promoting free apprenticeships
  • Establishing a way for people to find jobs in our sector

Workplace Training

The $1.6 Billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package announced by the Government will provide free training in our sector for a two year period, starting 1 June 2020.

This is a prime opportunity for anyone working in your business to take the step upskilling. There are many new training opportunities for workers that are starting out, or already in management positions.  

To find out more, visit the  Plant Careers Website

Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme

Equipping today’s leaders for tomorrow’s challenges.

The Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme has been specifically designed for the food and fibre sector.

The programme develops food and fibre sector leaders with the skills, confidence, awareness, and networks to think and act strategically.

It is for farmers, foresters, fishers, growers, and agri-professionals who have a desire to contribute to their rural community, food and fibre production, processing, or profession.

To apply, or for more information, visit the website now

For any queries contact Lisa Rogers +64 21 139 6881 or email


Congratulations to Dani McBride!

24 Feb 2022

The NZPPI 2021 Young Achiever, Dani McBride, was a major achiever at the 2021 Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition yesterday where she was presented with a suite of awards.

Dani, who is Dispatch and Procurement Manager at Rural Design in Kaiwaka, came second overall in the competition. She was also awarded the FruitFed Supplies Leadership Award and the Innovation Project Award.

Dani said the competition was an amazing experience and a lot of fun. She said it was very rewarding despite event delays and the gala evening not going ahead due to Covid restrictions.

Dani’s 2nd place win gives her a $2,500 Massey University study scholarship, $750 of ICL Specialty Fertilisers and a one-year membership of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science (NZIAHS).  The leadership award gives her $2500 towards a leadership or Outward Bound course while the innovation award was $5000. The judges said of Dani’s concept: “Dani presented a ready-to-go innovation, showing the judges her high level of attention to detail, due diligence and business forecasting. Dani has business acumen to turn her concept into a successful business venture.” NZPPI will talk to Dani about this venture in the future when she is ready to share her concept.

The overall competition winner was Young Viticulturist representative, Rhys Hall, while 3rd place went to Young Amenity Horticulture representative Tim Cooper. Other finalists were Young Landscaper representative Hayden Parker, Young Flower Grower representative Rudrik Tripathi and New Arborist representative Martin Manea, who took part remotely due to Covid restrictions.

NZPPI congratulates Dani on her well-deserved awards and we look forward to seeing her develop further as a strong industry leader and inspiration for other young producers.




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