Developing industry capability with the HortNZ Leadership Programme

Applications are open now for 26 places on the 2021 HortNZ Leadership Programme, which has helped more than 275 graduates excel in their chosen fields.

“This programme is for those in the horticultural industry ( no age limit) who want to  build their  leadership skills and confidence ” says programme director Sue Pickering of Develop Ltd.

The aim is to help prepare participants to  successfully addr

ess the challenges ahead and capture the opportunities that are arising, no matter what is going on around them. “Horticulture in growth mode but also facing an uncertain world., no more so than what we experienced last year through the Covid Pandemic.

“There are no qualification requirements to apply for the programme and our graduates have included everyone from former seasonal workers to those with PhDs. That diversity is part of the strength of the course and why those taking part gain so much from it. The common element is that those on the programme are keen to contribute to the horticulture industry.”

Those who have taken part in the programme say it has inspired them to step up to leadership in their fields and equipped them with the skills to do so.

Claudia Hermosilla is Orchard Manager for King Avocados  in the Far North and also along with her husband Neil runs a three hectare Avocado orchard

“I did the Leadership HortNZ in 2020, quite a year! Sue and her team did a very good job giving me the tools to discover my strengths, face my fears and become a better version of myself. They have amazing speakers, all of them great humans beings. I had the opportunity to meet and share experiences with great people, all of them full of potential to do the changes this world need to be a better place.

Claudia Hermosilla, Orchard Manager for King Avocados. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

.“A great advantage is the networking they enjoy through the programme and the chance to meet people from throughout the country and from all sectors of the industry.”

Sue encourages employers, co-workers and family members to shoulder tap people they believe have leadership potential and suggest they apply for this year’s programme. There are 20 scholarships, which cover all course fees and accommodation costs. There are also six positions available for a fee of $4,700 +GST. Travel costs are additional in both cases.

“The programme is in three phases .Phase one at Lincoln University from Wednesday August 31 to Sunday 5 September.

“Phase two of the programme is the individual projects which each participant works on and Phase the group gets back  together in Wellington from Tuesday October 26 to Friday 29 October .”

Sue says the programme benefits those taking part and the wider horticultural industry. If we are to thrive as an industry, we need a strong pool of high-quality leaders.”

Claudia adds “I’m still working on my journey of becoming a leader, once you realise it is  about you but not about you at all, every decision you make has the potential of change your and someone else world, and that, is powerful. I heartedly recommend this experience to everyone  who is looking for a great journey to discover their potential.

If you think this might be  for you  more information on the programme and application forms can be downloaded from  Applications close on 20 June 2021.

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