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


Our Young Achievers are competing this week! 25 July

25 Jul 2022

Five of the country’s most successful young plant producers are taking part in the 2022 Young Achiever competition in Christchurch from this Wednesday, vying to be named Aotearoa’s best.

The competition, organised by NZ Plant Producers (NZPPI), hosted by IPPS (International Plant Propogators’ Society) and supported by the Horticentre Charitable Trust, tests competitors on the skills needed to run a successful plant production business including finance, biosecurity and health & safety.

It is the chance for young plant producers from nurseries around the country to receive an invaluable boost of experience, industry insight and mentorship, plus the chance to win a $4000 fund to advance their career. The winner also gains automatic entry to the Young Horticulturalist of the Year award where they will compete against finalists from the entire horticulture sector, vying for a prize pool worth more than $20,000. Since 2016, Young Achiever winners have placed first or second in the Young Hort competition. 

“The Young Achiever competition showcases our industry’s most talented young plant producers. We’re proud to support the development of our industry’s future leaders and see them putting their knowledge and skills to the test,” says NZPPI People Capability Advisor Alice Schofield.

“Every year the standard increases and we’re looking forward to seeing who among our five competitors takes home the winning trophy.” 

The Young Achiever Challenge Day is being held at Lincoln University this Wednesday (July 27th) followed by a Business Breakfast in the CBD on Thursday where the finalists will present their speeches before judges decide on then announce the winner. This is the first year Young Achiever is being held at Lincoln University.

“We very much appreciate the opportunity to host at Lincoln, as it’s the perfect venue in which to encourage young people to further their career through professional development.”

The 2022 Young Achiever finalists are: 

·         Amy Clark, Branch Manager at Kings Plant Barn Botany in Auckland

·         Joshua Mercer, Plant Propagation Technician at Growing Spectrum in Hamilton

·         Eilish Chilton, Viticultural Technician at Riversun Nursery Ltd in Gisborne

·         Ellen Ballentine, Potting Team Leader at Rainbow Park Nurseries in Auckland

·         Rajan Singh, Nursery Supervisor at Kings Plant Barn in Auckland  





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