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Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release
From: Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust
Date: 10 November 2016

NZ Grower Andrew Hutchinson is New Zealand’s Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016

The winner of New Zealand’s overall ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year’ 2015 is Andrew Hutchinson, who is based in Pukekohe.

The winner of the Young Grower of the Year, representing Horticulture New Zealand and now the new Young Horticulturalist of the Year 2016, Andrew Hutchinson competed with five other finalists, all under the age of 30, in the grand final competition held over November 09 and 10 at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa, Auckland.

This evening’s awards (10 November 2016) concluded the 2016 competition, which assessed a contestant’s abilities across multiple skills that reflect the diversity of disciplines demanded by a modern career in horticulture, including innovative product design, market research, public speaking, interviews with judges and a day of practical assignments.

Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust Chairperson, Elle Anderson, said this year’s competition featured five competitors who demonstrated great critical thinking skills and the ability to think on their feet.

"Their desire and drive was evident in their thinking, particularly the interest they showed in their specific sector. Their hunger for knowledge was one of the reasons each contestant entered the competition.

"The aim of the Young Horticulturist competition is to develop the future, industry wide, leaders of the horticultural industry, celebrate the success of these young leaders and to come together as an industry for cross section pollination, learning and co-operation – the competition shows we're in a healthy space," Ms Anderson said.

Finalists compete for a prize pool valued at more than $40,000.00.

1st Place

In taking home the ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year’ title, Andrew Hutchinson receives $7,500 of ‘study’ travel and accommodation to a horticultural destination of his choice from T&G, $1,000 worth of ICL Specialty Fertiliser products and $100 NZ Horticultural magazine subscription for one year.

2nd Place

Auckland based (originally Christchurch) and representing Amenity Horticulture supported by the New Zealand Recreation Association, Jeanette Barker (25), takes home a $5,500 Massey University study scholarship, $750 worth of ICL Specialty Fertiliser products and $100 NZ Horticultural magazine subscription for one year.

3rd Place

Auckland based third place winner Paul Southan (29), representing Landscaping New Zealand, earns a $1000 cash prize, $500 worth of ICL Specialty Fertiliser products and $100 NZ Horticultural magazine subscription for one year.

The AGMARDT Market Innovation Project Winner

Jeanette Barker – from Auckland representing the Amenity Horticulture sector ¬– wins the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT) Market Innovation Project prize for her App that assists people with selecting the right plant for the right place.

This challenge is designed to stretch contestants’ abilities to come up future thinking that adds value to the industry, and the winner comes away with a $5,000 cash prize.

Second place runner up Andrew Hutchinson wins $2,500 and third placed Daniel Howard earns $1,500.

A consolation prize of $500 is awarded to each contestant who completed his or her project.

The T&G Best Practical Activities Award: Andrew Hutchinson (Pukekohe, originally from Tauranga), representing Horticulture New Zealand.

This award goes to the finalist who receives the best overall score for practical activities in the Grand Final and earns him a $3,500 travel scholarship.

The Fruitfed Supplies Leadership Award: Andrew Hutchinson

The finalist who demonstrates outstanding promise and leadership during the competition receives a $2,500 scholarship towards a Leadership or Outward Bound course.

The Bayer Best Practice Award: Cameron Price (Hastings, representing NZ Winegrowers)

The finalist who receives the highest score in a range of activities with a focus on crop management practices and sustainability during the Grand Final receives a $2,500 scholarship.

Primary ITO Career Development Award: Andrew Hutchinson

The winner receives a $3,000 scholarship, to assist with further study or to attend a conference, and is adopted as a Primary ITO ambassador to promote training and career pathways in horticulture.

The Countdown Best Speech Award: Andrew Hutchinson

The finalist who achieves the highest score for their speech receives $500 cash.

The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition is made possible through the generous support of: Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 competition partners AGMARDT, T&G and Fruitfed Supplies.

Young Horticulturist of the Year Supporters are Bayer CropScience, Massey University, Primary ITO, Countdown, NZ Gardener Magazine and Trillian Trust.

To check out the full list of supporters or for more information about how to enter for 2017, for more information.



The Education Trust manages the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition on behalf of the sponsors and the horticultural industry.

The purpose of the Trust is to assist and promote, in any way possible, horticultural training and education in New Zealand, including promoting and providing scholarships and prize schemes for young people in horticulture.

The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition aims to offer a national competition that nurtures and develops future leaders in the horticultural industry through the sector competitions, and to promote horticulture as a career opportunity and to lift the profile of the horticulture industry as an exciting and rewarding occupation.

The vision of the competition is to identify and develop the next generation of leaders in the Horticultural industry, and to foster and encourage the development of leadership capabilities in these people to meet the challenges of the future.

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