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Young landscapers celebrated

The dust has settled on the 2022 Prebbles Young Landscaper of the Year competition that saw Natural Habitats' Guillaume Chabbert take home the main prize

Competitors from across the country flocked to Auckland at the start of August and battled it out in front of a panel of experienced industry judges.

Ten finalists faced off during several practical skills tests, followed by a speech and a written presentation. The winner was announced at a gala dinner at the Hilton in Auckland on Saturday 27 August.

The practical tests included digger use, lawn prep setup, painting, paving, planting, profile set out and tool care, while the written test was on estimating a landscape project.

Third time lucky

Guillaume Chabbert was crowned the Prebble Seeds Turf World 2022 Young Landscaper of the Year at his third time of asking and took home the main prize of $2,500 cash, an entry to the Young Horticulturist of the Year awards and a 12-month affiliate membership to Registered

Master Landscapers.

The Frenchman has been in New Zealand for six years and says the competition will help him realise plans to further his career. “I want to be a project manager and the competition helped me realise there’s so much I need to learn first.

For example, I need to learn how to manage people better – humans can be tricky to deal with!”

His day job mainly involves residential work, so he felt most comfortable working on the digger, doing lawn prep and setting up a profile – but admits that he felt happy with all the tests, as you’d expect from the winner!

“I felt comfortable throughout the day, plus I knew what to expect as I’ve been in the competition before. One thing that could improve is my plant identification – not being

a Kiwi, I’m not familiar with all the plants and their names, so that’s an area I want to work on.”

Guillaume says he took home much more than just the top prize, though.

“I learned a few things, such as the Building Code regulation for pavers and a little bit about new paint technology. I’ve also had a bit of attention since I won as well – I was in a newspaper article and a mate’s mum cut it out and gave it to me!”

The best of the rest

David Rose from Goom Landscaping in Christchurch was named runnerup and took home the Construction Award. Other winners included Shaun Lovell from Luijten Landscaping (Emerging Leadership Award), Michael Dudley from By Design Concrete (Innovation Award) and Shaun Lovell from Luijten Landscaping (Communications Award).

“I didn’t think I’d be the runner up!” admits David, who has competed twice. “There were a lot more experienced landscapers than me in the competition, and I thought they’d have a natural advantage, so I’m bloody stoked to finish where I did.”

As a site foreman, David felt “confident” during the profile set out and digger use elements of the practical test, but admitted he has some areas to work on for next year.

“I know a lot about compliance and construction, so I was confident with that, but I struggled a bit with my speech, and I need to brush up on some of my plant knowledge – especially non-natives and plants that you find away from Christchurch.”

Lots of proud moments

Ollie Newman from Onlandscapes was part of the team who organised the event – and he said the quality of the competition was very strong.

“From first place to last place was really, really close. All of the competitors were excellent, and what I loved seeing was how the owners of the businesses got behind the staff they had competing. The weather shifted between rainy and sunny on the day, but they all stayed to cheer their staff on.

“As a business owner, you sometimes don’t get much to shout or be proud as punch about – but when you see your staff competing like that, it’s a really good feeling.”

He added that Guillaume and David’s experience helped them to claim the top two prizes.

“Gilly and David learned a lot from being in the competition before and that’s a credit to them, because the small things – such as how well you explain why you’re doing what you’re doing – really count.”

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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