top of page

Landscaper nails career development

Morgan & Pollard landscaper Hayden Parker wins Young Horticulturist Career Development Award

Bringing together all the sectors under the horticulture umbrella – from landscaping to viticulture to arboriculture – the awards are an opportunity for the industry's brightest young minds to expand their skills outside a traditional horticulture environment. Launched in 2005, it's managed and run by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Education Trust, with support from partnering sponsors Countdown, Fruitfed Supplies and T&G Fresh.

There are several awards, including the Countdown Innovation Award, the T&G Fresh Practical Components award and the Fruitfed Supplies Leadership Award. While each has its own merit, the Primary ITO Career Development Award is highly sought-after, as it’s designed to acknowledge – and assist – a young contestant with a clear path to success.

“The award is given to someone, who can present an outline of their future career ambitions and can display a strong desired career pathway,” says Young Horticulturist chair Hamish Gates.

The recipient receives a $3,000 prize to enable learning, assist with further study or attend a conference. He or she is also adopted as a Primary ITO ambassador to promote training and career pathways in horticulture and, this year, Hamish says Hayden Parker from Morgan & Pollard was a clear winner. “The judges felt that Hayden’s submission on his forecasted career development was thorough and well presented,” says Hamish. “He included a great photo that added a touch of dynamism, covered the required topics well and there was a clear sense of forward motion in his career. He ticked all of our boxes.”

Nurturing nature

The Young Horticulturist Career Development Award is designed to develop the next generation of talent within the industry – and Hamish says it’s already proven to be a success.

“We want to encourage young leaders to pursue their dreams and give them the confidence to take the next step. For example, our 2019 winner George Trowler was able to start his own business on the back of winning the award.”

Hayden, who has been in the industry for eight years and was the runner-up in Registered Master Landscaper’s Young Landscaper of the Year Awards in 2021, says he has similar ambitions. “I eventually want to start my own company, so I’ll use the prize to do a business-related course. I’m confident in my practical skills, but I need to learn aspects like business management before I go off on my own.”

One of the award’s objectives is to nurture the youth of tomorrow and create new business leaders. Hayden says the application stage was insightful and gave him a glimpse into what it would be like to be his own boss.

“The process already helped me learn some new skills that I’ll find useful in the future. I had to write a 10-page business plan, which was something I’ve never done before but it was a great experience.”

Sowing the seed for a successful future

Registered Master Landscapers CEO Janine Scott says its encouraging to see young landscaping talent being supported through the next stage of their careers.

“It’s incredibly important to nurture the next generation of landscapers, especially in light of the current worker shortage. The Young Horticulturist awards are a vital way we can do that.

“We’d also like to extend our congratulations to Hayden and all the competitors – we can’t wait to see how their careers develop in the future.”

Registered Master Landscapers is committed to supporting landscape professionals and young future leaders.

For more information contact CEO Janine Scott on or phone 0275 444 090


bottom of page