Pastoral Farming and our Region


Meat and wool production and processing continues to be the backbone of the regional economy of both Gisborne and Hawkes Bay however there is still considerable potential for increased production for farming from under-utilised land, particularly Māori owned land.


From Hastings through to Gisborne East Coast there are numerous Māori farming enterprises, some owning two to three farms each but only a very small number of them are managed by Māori. Although the programme focuses on upskilling Māori to manage their own enterprises, it is not to the exclusion of others who want to join.


As a response, and WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH INDUSTRY AND IWI through the Tairāwhiti Farm Cadet Scheme Consortium, we are continuing to offer our extended two year farm cadet programme that focuses on upskilling our taiohi for our local farming industry


We have a training base at Tiniroto where our cadets are involved in the management and development of our training farm including determining and reviewing the stock policy, planning, decision making and attending to the day to day operations of the farm. Our other bases are at Waingake in Gisborne and in Hastings where learning takes place on local farms. Scholarship places available through the Māori Trade Training Programme.


What do we want to achieve:

 A dynamic farm cadet scheme that is fully supported by industry and Iwi and relevant to their needs and aspirations

Our cadets to acquire the skills, knowledge and qualifications to set them onto a pathway of advanced study and sustainable and meaningful employment in the local farming industry

To provide for the future needs of the industry with a highly skilled labour force prepared to adapt to new technology, farming systems and management practices



Level 2:

NCEA with Primary Industries (Farming) Vocational Pathways Level 2

New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industries Skills Level 2


Level 3:

 New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) Level 3

 New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) Level 3

 New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Pastoral Livestock Production) Level 3

 New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Livestock Husbandry) (Meat and Fibre) Level 3

 By completing the range of level 3 qualifications you will be better prepared to gain employment in the industry and/or progress to our next level New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Breeding Livestock Farming) Level 4 that we run in partnership with Iwi and industry.




Arrangements with Lincoln University provide our level 4 graduates entry into their Diploma in Agriculture programme.


Programme Fees and Costs


There are scholarship places available and the programmes has been approved for student loans and allowances.


Where to after the Programme?


Graduates from our cadet programme who go directly into employment in the industry will be able to continue their studies at levels 4 on the framework with Tūranga Araurau or through a New Zealand apprenticeship with the PrimaryITO.


If you demonstrate a high level of commitment and ability through the programme you will be encouraged to move onto Massey and Lincoln Universities and other recognised national tertiary educational institutions to complete agricultural diplomas and degrees before returning to the industry to work towards supervisory, technical and management levels


Generic Skills

Livestock and Pasture

Cooking and Nutrition

Animal welfare

First Aid

Handle and treat Sheep

Health and Safety

Handle and treat Cattle

Farm Hazards

Check and report on livestock

Employment Agreements

Livestock behaviour


Handling, moving and treatment of livestock


Presentation of livestock for sale or slaughter



Dag and Crutch Sheep


Woolshed Tasks

Scanning Livestock


Breeds and classes of sheep and cattle

Fencing material and maintenance

Grazing management, and feed livestock

Temporary electric fences

Supplementary Feeding

Farm Equipment and Vehicles

Farm water supplies

Chainsaw Maintenance and Use

Pest control

Basic wheel tractors

Dogs and Horses


Types and care of farm dogs


Use and care of farm horses


An understanding of the special relationship Iwi Māori have with the land and the dynamics of managing and governing collectively owned Māori land interests including Incorporations and Trusts will also be a component of the programme.




Assessments will be to PrimaryITO standards and ongoing through the programme. They will include a range of methods such as observations, practical demonstrations, project work and individual assignments.


Your tutors will keep you informed of your progress through the programme and you will be encouraged to openly discuss this and any concerns you may have.


If at any time you feel that you have been unfairly assessed you can appeal to your tutor or to the Tūranga Ararau manager by following the steps set out in the Student Diary that you are provided with at the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements


For the pre-cadet programmes you need to be aged 16 years or older enjoy working in the outdoors and be really keen to work and grow in the farm industry.


To join the cadet programme you need to be 16 years or older, show that you are able to cope with learning at level 3 and above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and demonstrate a commitment to working in the industry and contributing to Iwi and regional needs and aspirations.


As well as possessing good self management skills you will need to be physically fit and able, drug free and prepared to be drug tested.


Hostel Accommodation


For those based at Ruapani the training farm has a modern hostel where the cadets stay during the week from Sunday evening to Thursday. It is equipped with a kitchen where you will do your own cooking which is an important skill for you to learn as many of you will have to cook for yourselves once you get into the industry. There is also plenty of room for study either in your own room or in a large well resourced classroom. Accommodation is now also available at our Waingake base where cadets stay out Monday to Thursday and learn on local farms.




Most of the learning will take place in the industry and include practical demonstrations and application of skills, group work, research, presentations and supported study sessions.


As the programme progresses, and subject to being able to demonstrate a high level of independence and reliability as well as completing required health and safety unit standards, you will be placed on farms for periods of work experience. This will provide you them with wider learning experiences and exposure to employment opportunities.




At programme commencement you will develop an Individualised Learning Plan with your tutor who will report to you theory and practical assessment outcomes within three weeks of you completing the assessment activity as well as working with you to measure your progress through the programme.


Acknowledgement of Prior Learning


If you can show that you already have existing skills and knowledge you can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning without having to be formally assessed. You can also be acknowledged for existing unit standards you may hold however should there be any concerns about you being able to demonstrate the required competencies you may have to be re-assessed. Proven prior experience and learning can also be taken into consideration as additional evidence to the completion of unit standards where appropriate.




From time to time you will be asked to tell us how you think the programme is going and how well it is meeting your needs. This will be through questionnaires, interviews and group discussion. Your assistance in doing this is valued as it will help us make sure the programme is on track