New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Amenity) (Level 4)

This qualification has an amenity horticulture focus (public parks/gardens etc). The programme covers applied plant and soil science, plant selection and displays, and asset management. Further develop your skills in this field and the management of public spaces and people. Study full-time on campus or part-time alongside employment in the horticulture industry.

About the programme

Want to improve your amenity horticulture skills? 

Ideal for those who want to build on their Level 3 Amenity Horticulture learning or for those who are working in the amenity sector, have existing experience and want to gain a relevant qualification and increase their supervisory skills.  

This programme sits within a progressive training pathway that is industry-recognised.

You can study this programme full-time on campus over one year. This option includes a minimum four week work placement and has an intake in February every year.

Or, you can study part-time over two to three years while you work in the horticulture industry. Delivery is in your workplace, along with online learning and practical block courses. Intakes are flexible for this option and you can start any time. 

On campus and block course learning will take place in our specialist facilities, allowing you to build the practical knowledge and experience you need to hit the ground running.  

Graduates will receive the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Amenity) (Level 4) and will be capable of providing day-to-day supervision and will be able to contribute to more effective and efficient operations. Career opportunities include an amenity gardener, collection curator, grounds person or amenity horticulture. 



Course name Description Credits
Supervisory Skills in Horticulture 

Learn how to use interpersonal communication skills to achieve desired outcomes in horticulture. 

Indicative content

  • Supervisor responsibilities
  • Instructing team members
  • Allocation of work within teams
  • Giving and receiving feedback 
Management of Amenity Areas

Learn how to manage the maintenance and aesthetic effect of plants, parks and open spaces within the concept of Maramataka.

Indicative content

  • Maramataka
  • Seasonal horticulture tasks
  • Turf establishment and care 
Amenity Pruning

Learn how to apply pruning techniques in amenity horticulture. 

Indicative content

  • Plant growth characteristics
  • Plant responses to pruning
  • Seasonal pruning 
Applied Plant and Soil Science

Learn how to apply knowledge of plant and soil science to achieve management plan goals within the concept of Ahi Kaa. 

Indicative content

  • Ahi Kaa
  • Properties and processes of soil
  • Plant structures and processes
  • Sustainable soil and plant management 
Plant Identification and Naming

Learn to identify plants and apply plant nomenclature. 

Indicative content

  • Botanical nomenclature
  • Plant identification
  • Plant classification system 
Plant Selection and Displays

Learn to select amenity plants to achieve functional and aesthetic effects 

Indicative content

  • Plant identification
  • Plant selection
  • Principles and elements of design
  • Displaying plants 

Learn to propagate and grow amenity plants 

Indicative content

  • Propagation techniques
  • Growing media
  • Plant care
  • Propagation records 
Amenity Planting

Learn to carry out planting to achieve management plan goals 

Indicative content

  • Planting preparation
  • Planting techniques
  • Plant establishment 
Pests, Diseases and Weeds

Learn to identify and describe plant health problems and control options 

Indicative content

  • Pest, disease, disorder and weed identification
  • Plant health control options
  • Integrated pest management plan 
Asset Management 

Learn to carry out inspections of assets and monitor maintenance schedules

Indicative content

  • Asset monitoring and assessment
  • Asset records
  • Identification of work standards 

Work placement


Full-time learners will complete a minimum of four weeks’ work placement within the amenity sector. 

You will be placed with an employer/host in industry, within Dunedin, and our horticulture staff will visit you at your worksite. Our staff will also be available by phone for students or employers to contact them. Employers/industry hosts will provide feedback to you. 


Part-time learners who are already industry-based may be assessed on-the-job by our horticulture staff and/or in partnership with their employer.

Further study options

If you want to progress your learning, you could study the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 4) in a different strand/horticulture sector or the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 5) (Amenity).  

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.