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People are the essential component in New Zealand’s potato industry and the responsibility for ensuring we have the right mix of qualified staff and skill sets available to the industry, both now and in the future, lies with the Potatoes NZ Inc. Leadership Development Group.

Role of Group

  • Identify future industry leaders and encourage their development through a variety of leadership programmes provided by Horticulture New Zealand, Nuffield and Kellogg Rural Leadership Programmes.
  • Continue to support the Young Grower of the Year competition both in financial assistance through sponsorship but also by ensuring potato industry staff enter the competition each year.
  • Work closely with the Horticulture New Zealand Education and Training portfolio Manager to ensure the potato industry provides input into government agencies, the Primary Industry ITO, Massey, Lincoln and other training providers to ensure education and training continues to meet New Zealand potato industry needs.


  • The Agronomists’ Forum was launched in 2012. The annual PNZ Inc. Agronomists’ Forum facilitates continuous improvement by bringing together the industrys’ leaders in this field to share their best practice knowledge with one another.
  • People in Potatoes events run in Pukekohe, Manawatu and Canterbury to encourage networking and business opportunities within the wider industry.

HortNZ Scholarship

The potato industry has had 20 industry personnel complete the HortNZ Leadership Programme over the last 9 years and is constantly seeking new candidates who would benefit from the experience.

Horticulture New Zealand’s Leadership Programme aims to take great horticulture employees and make them great horticulture leaders.

The programme develops tangible leadership skills in areas like communication, presentations, working with teams and understanding how others work. Throughout the course participants gather a much greater understanding of strategy, operations, governance and management.

The beauty of this programme is that it is for horticulture, and about horticulture, so takes in opportunities and threats such as biosecurity, traceability, food safety and sustainability issues.

The programme is jointly run by HortNZ and Lincoln University and is in its 12th year. The course is always oversubscribed, so anyone interested needs to register early. Past participants rate the programme highly – scoring it over 8/10. Two of the most highly valued outcomes for students are building confidence and having the opportunity to build a network of like-minded people from a range of horticulture sectors and regions.

As part of HortNZ’s commitment to the development of industry leaders, growers, employees of growers or those closely associated with growing have their course fees and accommodation paid for by HortNZ.

The PNZ Inc. Leadership Development Group will provide funding to assist potato industry participants in the HortNZ Leadership Development Programme. The three grants of $500 are available to help with the travel costs in attending programme sessions in Lincoln and Wellington. Applicants will be required to apply in writing.

For more information.

Nuffield Scholarship

Nuffield logo

In late 2013, Paul Olsen, a potato grower from Opiki was announced as one of five Nuffield Scholars for 2014. Paul joined more than 140 others who have been awarded Nuffield Scholarships in the past 60 years.

The Nuffield NZ Scholarship offers the opportunity for overseas travel, study of the latest developments in a number of leading agricultural countries, and provides an entrée to leaders and decision makers not accessible to the ordinary traveller.

Successful applicants have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of New Zealand and international relationships through at least four months travel. Scholars participate in a Contemporary Scholars conference with 60 Nuffield Scholars from around the world and a six-week Global Focus Programme with an organised itinerary through several countries with other scholars. Finally they have their own individual study programme with a research report due at the end of their travels.

For more information on the Nuffield Scholarships.

Primary ITO

PrimaryITO logo

On the 1st February 2014, NZITO merged with Primary ITO, strengthening and enhancing the link between the processor and producer sectors of the primary industry.

Primary ITO is New Zealand’s largest industry training organisation. Offering nationally recognised, NZQA qualifications in twenty nine industry sectors.

The Primary ITO helps more than 20,000 people every year gain the knowledge and skills they need for a productive and rewarding career in the agriculture, horticulture, water, equine, sports turf and food processing sectors.

For more information on the Primary ITO.

Massey University

Massey University courses focus on the development of sustainable land-based primary industries, and on understanding and managing the geodiversity and biodiversity of New Zealand’s ecosystems.

For more information on Massey courses.

Lincoln University

Lincoln University is New Zealand’s specialist land-based university. As a publicly owned and operated university that exists and operates under New Zealand statute, Lincoln is 100% committed to transforming land, people and economies. Along with Massey University no other New Zealand university has had such a direct link with the New Zealand economy, and with the people responsible for fueling the economy for much of that time, than Lincoln.

For more information on Lincoln.

Rabobank Business Development Programmes

Rabobank logo

These programmes provide a unique opportunity for progressive Australian and New Zealand farmers to enhance their commercial management skills, develop market driven production strategies and explore options for sustained business growth.

The Rabobank Farm Managers Programme and the Executive Development Programme are specially designed to teach the latest business management skills and their application to agricultural enterprise. Through the programmes, participants meet other innovative producers from a variety of commodities and regions and establish ongoing networks that will assist them into the future.

For more information.

Work Wanted/Vacancies

Potatoes NZ Inc. is often asked to help potential new industry employees find positions within the industry by providing a place for candidates to register their availability and CV details.

To view submitted CVs.

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