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Andrew Hutchinson is New Zealand’s Young Horticulturist of the Year

The winner of New Zealand’s overall ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year’ 2016 is Andrew Hutchinson, who is based in Pukekohe.

The winner of the Young Grower of the Year, representing Horticulture New Zealand and now the new Young Horticulturalist of the Year 2016, Andrew Hutchinson competed with five other finalists, all under the age of 30, in the grand final competition held over November 09 and 10 at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa, Auckland.

This evening’s awards (10 November 2016) concluded the 2016 competition, which assessed a contestant’s abilities across multiple skills that reflect the diversity of disciplines demanded by a modern career in horticulture, including innovative product design, market research, public speaking, interviews with judges and a day of practical assignments.

Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust Chairperson, Elle Anderson, said this year’s competition featured five competitors who demonstrated great critical thinking skills and the ability to think on their feet.

"Their desire and drive was evident in their thinking, particularly the interest they showed in their specific sector. Their hunger for knowledge was one of the reasons each contestant entered the competition.

"The aim of the Young Horticulturist competition is to develop the future, industry wide, leaders of the horticultural industry, celebrate the success of these young leaders and to come together as an industry for cross section pollination, learning and co-operation – the competition shows we're in a healthy space," Ms Anderson said.

Finalists compete for a prize pool valued at more than $40,000.00.

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