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Primary ITO training transfers to Te Pūkenga


Primary ITO has joined forces with institutes of technology, polytechnics and industry training organisations to form one national training provider – but learners don’t need to worry, writes Primary ITO’s Colin Marshall


It’s a case of more of the same, in a good way, as the landscaping industry training organisation Primary ITO joins the newly minted Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute

of Skills and Technology.


Founded in 2012, Primary ITO has since taken responsibility for arranging work-based training and apprenticeships in landscaping, as well as setting the skills standards businesses needed from staff who have completed a training programme. Primary ITO is also responsible for training across agriculture, horticulture, food processing and a raft of related industries.

As part of the Government’s Reform of Education, all of New Zealand’s institutes of technology, polytechnics and industry training organisations (ITOs like Primary ITO) combined to form Te Pūkenga. Primary ITO formally transferred to be a division of Te Pūkenga Work-Based Learning in October 2022, although it will continue to trade as Primary ITO.


Better for landscape learners

Primary ITO Division Director Nigel Philpott says that while the future is bright, continuity is a high priority. “Our learners and employers can expect to see their same trusted Primary ITO people and we’re very much focused on helping New Zealand businesses get the skills they need,” said Philpott.


“We’ve taken time to make this transition and will take a lot more time to fully integrate into Te Pūkenga. We really believe in a vision of vocational education, where learners can move seamlessly from the classroom to the workplace to online, and that’s what we’re working for.”

Philpott believes that landscaping training has a great future with Primary ITO and Te Pūkenga. As at the end of September, 545 people were training in landscaping with Primary ITO, including 493 apprentices. Of those, 94 learners identify as Māori (17%), 23 as Pasifika (4%) and 428 as other than Māori or Pasifikia (79%).


“Our people are very excited to be joining an organisation with the scale of Te Pūkenga and they’ll have a new ability to access best practice, knowledge and talent across our vocational education network,” he said.


“Over time we’re looking forward to learners around New Zealand getting more and better access to training, whether they’re on the Chatham Islands, in Central Otago, or public gardens in Auckland.”


Primary ITO supports around 20,000 learners at 6,000 employers, as well as over 1,000 secondary school students in the country’s biggest Trades Academy. In joining Te Pūkenga, it will be part of the 35th largest tertiary education provider in the world, with around 240,000

learners across New Zealand.




Primary ITO is responsible for training across agriculture, horticulture, food processing and a raft of related industries. As of September 2022, 545 people were engaged with landscaping training.


For more information on landscape and other training, visit primaryito.ac.nz or call 0800 20 80 20.

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