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


Inaugural Fraser Award presented

19 Oct 2022

Our conference awards dinner kicked off with the presentation of the inaugural Carol Fraser Industry Training Award aka the Fraser Award.

The award was established in July by the family of the late Carol Fraser of Growing Spectrum to honour Carol’s extremely active role in industry training and the professional development of plant producers.

Carol’s son Michael paid tribute to his mother on the night, outlining the why the three criteria for the award were chosen.

“Mum was a teacher, not only at the front of the classroom but sitting around the dining table, next to a stranger on a plane or at an awards dinner. Conversation would always find its way to what your learning interests were and how you were pursuing learning in life. So, the first criteria for the award is a love of learning.”

“Mum had a passion for plants. We spent our lives with Mum critiquing and celebrating planting combinations: textures, colour form, contrast, how appropriate plants were for different landscapes and environments. Once Mum started her school of horticulture we learned of her thirst to learn and share botany, plant ID and propagation. So, the second criteria for the award is a passion for plants.”

“As children we toured nearly every garden centre and nursery in New Zealand. Mum invested much of her time in coaching the nursery representative of the Young Horticulturalist of the Year and working with NZQA to improve the quality and credibility of industry standards. Mum wanted pathways for young people to thrive in the industry. So, the third criteria for the award is engagement within the nursery industry.”

Michael then announced the Fraser Award winner Danielle McBride, our 2021 Young Achiever and Production and Procurement Manager at Rural Design.

The award is for $3000 donated by NZPPI and Growing Spectrum. Michael encouraged Dani to use the award to further her study, buy books about plants or landscapes and travel to gardens and garden centres.

“This was how Mum loved to learn and it is a privilege to now offer this to someone else. Danielle impressed us with her passion for plants, describing the fickle problems propagating rimu, yet the delight at getting successful germination and the importance of rimu in providing kokako habitat."

Danielle has great vision for reaching out to secondary schools to promote the range if careers and opportunity in the horticulture industry. We were delighted to hear that Danielle is participating in a women in leadership course through Outward Bound. Danielle gave thoughtful and mature insight into her leadership style based on coaching and shared learning."

"Danielle, we know Mum would have relished meeting you, you would have connected on so many topics and Mum would have been proud to see you receive this award”




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