Young Amenity Horticulturist of the Year Award

The Young Amenity Horticulturist of the Year aims to inspire the next generation of leaders in New Zealand's amenity gardens, providing an opportunity for skills and knowledge to grow through personal and professional development.


This is a national event for young amenity horticulturists, organised by Recreation Aotearoa in partnership with Botanic Gardens New Zealand. The competition centres on a mix of practical and managerial based skills, as well as leadership and presentation of ideas.

The Young Amenity Horticulturalist of the Year Award is open to individuals who have completed a level 4 National Certificate and are under 30 years of age on the year of the competition. They are currently engaged in employment working at a Botanic Gardens, Open Space, Parks, or Native Reserves.

The winner receives mentoring and support to represent the amenity sector at the Young Horticulturist of the Year Grand Final, where they will compete for awards, prizes and national recognition against champions from five other sectors of the horticulture industry.

Young Amenity Horticulturist Competition 2024

Christchurch Botanic Gardens
28 May 2024

Applications have now closed. 

More information

For more information, please email Kieran Smith.

Young Amenity Horticulturist of the Year Winners

  • 2023 – Renee Johnson, Bark Ltd, Auckland (2nd Nationals)
  • 2022 – Jody McDonnell, Auckland
  • 2021 – Timmy Cooper, Dunedin (3rd Nationals)
  • 2020 – COVID-19 interrupted
  • 2019 – Anika Jackson, Dunedin
  • 2018 – Morgan Hampton, Dunedin
  • 2017 – Pippa Lucas, Auckland (3rd Nationals)
  • 2016 – Jeanette Barker, Auckland (2nd Nationals)
  • 2015 – Karl Noldan, Wellington (3rd Nationals)
  • 2014 – Sarah Fenwick, Dunedin
  • 2013 – Eliza Whalley, Hutt City (2nd Nationals)
  • 2012 – Karl Noldan (3rd Nationals)
  • 2011 – Rangi Green, Auckland (2nd Nationals)
  • 2010 – Leigh Harrison, Waikato
  • 2009 – Sandra How, Hamilton
  • 2008 – Jasmine Zimmerman, Wellington
  • 2007 – Chris Vork, New Plymouth
  • 2006 – Rewi Elliot, Wellington
  • 2005 – Nikki Taylor, Auckland (3rd Nationals)