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


Proposed new BSc Major in Horticultural and Plant Sciences: signatures needed

11 Oct 2023

Researchers at Lincoln University, including Associate Professor Clive Kaiser, have proposed a new qualification major: a Horticultural and Plant Science Major (Bachelor of Science) to be introduced in 2024 to 2025.

NZPPI has examined the proposed course content and fully supports it. We have long identified the need for this level of education for the future development of our industry. The proposed qualification will help fill a crucial gap in horticultural plant science knowledge in the coming years as graduates join the workforce.

The next stage in the process of approving the qualification is gathering signatures from supporters. These signatures, along with the business case, will be forwarded to the Academic Quality and Policy Manager.

Some signatures from NZPPI members were collected at the NZPPI AGM. If you would like to add your signature, please complete the editable PDF below and email to by October 25 2023. 

The qualification proposal states:

There are many challenges (and ongoing opportunities) for New Zealand to be able to continue harnessing value from land-based industries while maintaining our competitive advantages and developing new products for a global marketplace. New Zealand requires increasingly sophisticated graduates, technical solutions, and innovative science and management systems to address these challenges. 

As such the new Horticultural and Plant Science Major has the primary intention of providing a programme that aligns with the needs of the industry, including producing quality graduate scientists who can lead knowledge-driven solutions to some of the industry's most difficult challenges.

 The proposed major will be built around a core of traditional science and applied courses already taught at Lincoln. It includes a single new course: HORT109 Horticultural Science Principles and Practices. Cross-faculty collaboration will include two modified subjects from Agri Commerce, HORT222 and HORT272. 

Updated courses components will provide a stronger focus on the science behind horticultural production, plant growth regulators, fertilisation and plant protection, focusing on sustainable management.

We encourage NZPPI members and supporters to get behind the proposed qualification and sign the PDF. We will keep you updated on progress.



Download Proposal for a new Hort Major
(Adobe PDF) 125KB



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