Zespri Horticultural Scholarships

Horticulture is so much more than fruit picking and packing (although those are essential jobs). Horticulture offers an array of exciting careers for young people to grow, innovate and lead the industry forward. In fact, all of these subjects, and many more, could lead you to a career in the horticulture industry:


So whatever your chosen career path, chances are, you could have a future in the horticulture industry.

Zespri is New Zealand’s largest horticultural exporter and a leader in the horticulture industry. We market and export kiwifruit to 54 countries and we employ around 500 people worldwide. In 2016 Zespri generated around $2bn in revenue and our goal is to generate $4.5bn annually by 2025. In other words, the horticulture industry has a very bright future and Zespri is an exciting place to work. To achieve that kind of growth the horticulture industry needs talented people across all areas, which is why Zespri offers two $15,000 scholarships to students undertaking tertiary study at a New Zealand university each year. 


What you get:

  • Up to $15,000 ($5000 per year for three years) towards tuition fees.
  • Mentoring and support from people working in the kiwifruit industry.
  • Opportunities to be involved in the kiwifruit industry.

Who should apply?

Anyone in their last year of secondary school, planning to study at university next year and aspiring to a career in the horticulture industry.


To be eligible for a Zespri Horticultural Scholarship you need to:

  • Pass NCEA Level 3 with merit or higher (don’t worry if you haven’t quite finished Level 3 at the time of applying).
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
  • Give examples of how your study will benefit the horticulture industry.
  • Provide examples of your leadership skills, community service and/or sporting or cultural activities.

How to apply

The 2017 application window has now closed.

More information

Zespri Scholarship Brochure

Zespri Scholarship Terms & Conditions

For more information phone 07 572 7777 or email scholarships@zespri.com


2017 recipients

Meet our 2017 scholarship recipients Alex Tomkins and Fergus Chinnery.

Alex Tomkins (left)

Studying: Bachelor in agri commerce, majoring in international agri business.
Best thing about the kiwifruit industry: “Even though I haven't grown up on an orchard or lived on one, they're all around me in the Bay of Plenty. My dream job is to work in a primary industry, to be a CEO in the future, putting New Zealand products on the world stage.”

Fergus Chinnery (right)

Studying: Science degree majoring in biotechnology and cell and molecular bioscience.
Best thing about the kiwifruit industry: “There’s been massive development in the new varieties like the red kiwifruit, that’s something that really interests me. And I definitely don’t like the taste of kiwifruit so one day, hopefully I can make some I do like to eat.”

 2016 recipients

Our 2016 scholarship recipients were Georgia Cook and Libby Bradley.

Georgia Cook (left)
Studying: Bachelor of Science majoring in Human Nutrition.
Best thing about the kiwifruit industry: "It's so wide, from engineering to law like Libby's doing, through to dietetics - I had no idea the kiwifruit industry was such a big industry, bringing together so many people. It's really nice to be recognised and for Zespri to think I'm worth backing and supporting - it takes a long time to earn that amount of money."

Libby Bradley (right)
Studying: Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Commercial Law.
Best thing about the kiwifruit industry: "Horticulture and kiwifruit definitely have big futures," Libby said. "Our school and whole community is based around kiwifruit orchards and I've definitely learned how much a good kiwifruit season can help the community, in so many ways like sponsorship and employment.” 

2015 recipients

Our 2015 Zespri Horticultural Scholarship recipients were Lizzie (Elizabeth) Boyle and Jack Keeys:


Lizzie Boyle (left)
Studying: A Bachelor of Science majoring in food science and minoring in marketing.
Best thing about receiving a Zespri scholarship: ‘Getting to see what the horticulture industry is all about; how large it is and how the different aspects combine together.’

Jack Keeys (right)
Studying: A Bachelor of Business Management Studies and a Bachelor of Science.
Best thing about working in the kiwifruit industry: ‘The exciting thing about the kiwifruit industry is that it has a strong foundation but it still has massive growth opportunities.’

Check out more career options in the horticulture industry here»