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.


1 Year Full-time
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee
On campus
Online with block course(s)


*Approximate full qualification tuition fee

What You Study


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).  


Your workload


On average you will undertake four days a week of practical instruction and theory teaching. In addition to this, you will carry out your own self-directed study. It is expected that you will participate in a minimum four weeks of work placement during your programme. 


Skills needed to work in this area

  • An enjoyment of working outdoors 
  • Physical fitness 
  • Planning and organisational skills 
  • Good communication and the ability to work in a team 
  • An eye for detail 
  • Strong work ethic

Entry requirements

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Please note: This programme is not available for international students

Selection process

Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis until the programme has reached full capacity. 


Domestic fees

Full tuition

Funding help

As this programme is part-time, students generally aren't eligible for student loans or allowances to cover additional costs or living costs. But, some help may be possible depending on your circumstances. Check the Studylink website for more information. 

If you have any questions about student loans and allowances, please email our Studylink Advisor:

If you're eligible, you may be able to get further tuition fee cover through the Fees Free scheme. 

Additional costs

You are required to buy some items of personal protective equipment, personal stationery and textbooks. 

Please note: Many suppliers offer student discounts once you have enrolled and it is preferred that you wait until the first week of your programme before purchasing these items. 

All costs below are approximate only. 

  • Steel toecap boots ($100 - $200)
  • Secateurs ($40 - $120)
  • Gloves ($15 - $25)
  • Class 5 earmuffs ($40 - $50)
  • Safety glasses ($15 - $25)
  • Camera ($100 - $200)
  • Printing and photo printing ($30)
  • Textbooks ($200)
  • Stationery ($25) 

Financial assistance is available through StudyLink under course-related costs. Please see the Paying for your study section below.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees shown above are approximate only. There may be a slight fee increase per year once Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) rules and guidelines are applied.

Student Services Fee

For most students, your tuition fee shown above includes a Student Services Fee – also known as the Student Levy. This compulsory fee covers your access to the student services we offer. This cost is tailored depending on how you're studying.


A change for 2023 enrolments

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic in 2023, 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.

Get in touch

0800 762 786
International +64 3 477 3014