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


HortPartners website, discussion paper, workshop and survey launched

15 Aug 2023

HortPartners is a research and education extension collaboration between Lincoln University and New Zealand’s horticulture and plants industries.

It has developed out of NZPPI's Memorandum of Understanding with Lincoln University that was signed last year. To date, HortPartners includes NZPPI, Onions NZ, Potatoes NZ, Vegetables NZ and Lincoln University. We are hoping other grower groups will also come on board.  

Extension is a model of research and education outreach that places growers and producers at its centre. Extension responds to grower needs rather than the other way around. HortPartners is now working with Lincoln University to design and implement a university-based extension framework that is accessible to New Zealand growers and producers. The goal is to build capability and capacity to enable knowledge transfer between scientists, educators, technical experts, growers and producers through field labs, workshops, seminars, webinars, and publications.

There is a discussion paper on Enhancing Horticulture Plant Production Extension in New Zealand for you to read for full details. 

We very much want to hear your views on what you would like to see in an extension and research framework. There are two ways of giving your feedback:

1. Fill in an online extension and education survey now.

2. Attend our extension framework scoping workshop at Lincoln University on Wednesday September 6. For details and to register please visit: We intend to hold a second workshop in Pukekohe in late spring/early summer. 

By completing the survey and/or attending the workshop, you will have the opportunity to contribute your perspectives and play a role in building a new extension and education model.

We look forward to receiving your feedback on extension and on the HortPartners model. 




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