Primary sector needs 50,000 more workers

A new programme celebrating and promoting careers in the primary sector has been launched by Prime Minister John Key, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and senior Ministers at National Fieldays.

“Growing Our Future – Primary Industry Champions is a series of videos with well-known and everyday New Zealanders working in the primary sector. The first video includes Richie McCaw, Sir David Fagan, and Rob and Sonia Waddell, among many others,” says Nathan.

“The aim is to raise awareness of the huge range of exciting careers in the primary sector, their importance to New Zealand, and encourage young people to consider a career in this broad field.

“The primary sector is still a major part of the New Zealand economy, but we face big challenges in attracting enough young people into the sector. By 2025 the sector will need 50,000 more people, and around half of them will require a Level 4 NCEA qualification or higher,” says Nathan.

As part of this initiative, the Ministry for Primary Industries will be releasing a series of short videos featuring everyday primary industry champions including farmers, growers, fishers, foresters, scientists, economists, rural consultants, entrepreneurs and marketing specialists. 

“This is part of a range of initiatives from both Government and the wider industry who are working together on a range of programmes to raise awareness of the opportunities out there.”

As part of the launch, the Prime Minister also announced the two winners – Bruce Hunter and Daniel Boulton – of the Emerging Leaders Scholarship for the 2016 Te Hono Movement Stanford Bootcamp in Palo Alto, California. Sponsors for the inaugural scholarship include MPI, The Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust, and Te Hono Movement.

Te Hono Movement’s vision is to accelerate the transformation of the primary sector with a focus on doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025. The group comprises diverse alumni of more than 130 chief executives and leaders, representing 80 per cent of the New Zealand primary sector.

The first videos as part of the Growing Our Future – Primary Industry Champions initiative are available at



Posted on 16-06-2016 18:12 | By Pat 1955

I have met a large number of people recently that are well qualified but have lost their job to cheap overseas farm labourers and are very upset that they have chosen this career to be dropped like hot potato’s when farmers find things tough. MPI should be checking on these farmers and make it worth Kiwi getting qualified for the said upcoming jobs. Most of us have had to take out student loans to get where we are now and a unqualified foreigner can walk in say "I work for cheap and say nothing you give me job, need money and house for family, will share with many other workers". And down the road goes the poor young kiwi block with his wife and kids.


Posted on 16-06-2016 12:45 | By How about this view!

Whilst we continue to pay young fit people to sit around, there will always be industries screaming out to the nation for help. Word will have now got out in one section of our developing community and it will not surprise me to learn that there is a sudden increase of migrants coming here with the appropriate skills. On any day of the week, there is an ever growing number of time-wasters hanging about in our "Civic heart". Not enough money available to be productive and too much money available to "need" to be productive.


Posted on 16-06-2016 08:58 | By overit

recipients need to get out of bed and go and look for work. I know some are genuine but a lot are freeloaders because they can.

Make it attractive

Posted on 16-06-2016 08:29 | By waiknot

Supply and demand, start paying a decent wage and it will start looking like an option.

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