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Sponsors and partners the backbone of RML

This year saw the biggest-ever Young Landscaper of the Year and Landscapes of Distinction events, with more entrants than ever before across both competitions – a feat RML CEO Janine Scott attributes both to the quality of entrants and commitment of industry partners

Hosted by Auckland’s Bark Wholesalers Limited the day before the Landscapes of Distinction Awards, industry support was not found wanting at the 2022 Young Landscaper of the Year. Several sponsors were on hand to offer guidance and naming sponsor Prebbles Seeds Turf World provided a cash prize to winner Guillaume Chabbert.

On competition day, long-term RML partners Prebbles Seeds Turf World, Firth, PlaceMakers, Resene, Allied Concrete and Husqvarna, together with sponsors Milwaukee, SimPro, Straight Curve and Luijten Landscaping, provided support and helped judge the entrants.

Participants were tested on a range of practical and written activities, including landscape profile set-out, plant identification, digger operation, paving, lawn preparation, a face-to-face interview and a speech.

Part of the action

Hosts Bark Wholesalers Limited are suppliers of quality horticultural and landscaping products. Based in Auckland, the independent manufacturer specialises in custom horticultural blends and also offers a full range of landscape supplies.

Director and RML board member Michelle Mace said that attending the competition over the years made her very keen to host.

“Over the years, I’ve seen the event go from strength to strength and, having been there, I know how exciting it is,” she said. “The competition is well run and the vibe on the day is really good, so it was great to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”

She said it was great to see so many supporters on the day, despite the average weather, and that the competition was a close one!

“I had no idea who was going to win,” she admitted. “Different entrants had different strengths but everyone was very capable – there’s no doubt it was a close competition, as the judges attested to at the awards!”

Prebble Seeds Turf World has been the major sponsor for the Young Landscaper event for the past five years and involved in the competition for around nine. Prebble Seeds Upper South Island manager Bruce Lowe said the company is happy to sponsor the event to show support for RML and the future of the industry, and agreed that choosing the winner was no easy task.

“The quality of entrants is improving each year and selecting a clear winner is getting harder and harder. To see this growth in entrants’ skills and confidence completely reiterates the importance of the event and our involvement. The young landscapers coming through the system are the future for the Master Landscapers – and the future is bright.”

Husqvarna New Zealand has also become a staple at the event, which Marketing Manager Margot Dell sees as a valuable opportunity to interact with – and be impressed by – some of the most promising young landscapers in the country.

“The Young Landscaper of the Year competition allows talented young landscapers to test their skills against like-minded entrants from around New Zealand. The competition is designed to showcase and improve the skill base needed to succeed in business these days. By helping to provide a platform for our Young Landscapers to learn and improve, Husqvarna is doing its bit to help futureproof the industry.”

The next generation

PlaceMakers has been a staunch supporter of RML for the past few years and Landscaping Category Manager Martin Brannigan is also in it for the future generations.

“What we do now can help shape the industry's future, by supporting those who might lead it,” said Martin. “Rewarding those who strive to improve the expertise and professionalism in landscaping seems like a good investment for all of us.”

He always enjoys being there on the day – and this year was no different.

“I love seeing the enthusiasm and how passionate they all were carrying out their tasks – especially their presentations, which they all clearly put a lot of thought into. These guys aren’t doing this because they have nothing else to do, they take it seriously and that can only be a good thing for the industry.”

Martin said PlaceMakers prides itself on being a dependable partner for professional landscapers and hopes these emerging leaders feel the same down the line.

“If in the future these guys can be mentors for the next generation, then it creates a cascading effect, and we all win.”

Meeting of minds

Shane Parker, director of Straightcurve, has been involved in the event for the past four years and he says the benefits of sponsoring are ten-fold.

“There are not many opportunities in this industry where landscapers can meet and forge relationships, but this event really brings the community together, as competitors come from different businesses around the country.”

Shane made sure he interacted with everyone by running a mini putt competition at his stand – for contestants and non-contestants – and said it was enjoyed by many. But that’s not the only reason he’s there.

“Of course it’s great to expose them to your product, but it’s more than that.

“It’s really about supporting the next generation. If we don’t invest time and money in their development, opportunities like this won’t exist, and it’s nice to feel as though you’re part of their progression going forward.”

Shane added that it was also really nice to feel that his sponsorship was valued.

“The contestants have become more and more open – they understand things don’t happen without sponsorship and show appreciation, which is really nice.

This year’s winner came up and shook my hand and said ‘thank you for supporting the event’ before he even knew he was the winner – that’s the icing on the cake.”

First-time sponsor Milwaukee was also pleased to be part of the day, as landscapers are a growing part of the company’s customer base.

“This a great opportunity to expose the next generation of landscapers to Milwaukee tools and demonstrate the solutions we can offer to help landscapers complete their jobs,” said Product Manager Luuk van Wagtendonk.

“What I enjoyed most on the day was seeing the level the young landscapers were operating at and their competency using tools – both Milwaukee for their form work and other equipment required for the likes of paving.”

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


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