Sustainable Primary Production (Level 4)

Sustainable Primary Production (Level 4)2023-11-10T14:19:19+12:00

This programme is designed to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge required to evaluate a land-based system with regard to its level of sustainable practices.  To identify and understand the changes that are required to the land-based system to make it more sustainable, through improving the land use by integrating sustainable land practices as part of their plan.  They will then implement the sustainable practices, and monitor these practices and change them as needed, to meet their production goals and comply with the production standard they are working to.

The programme is applicable for those in rural and urban environments and the techniques learnt can be applied to any land-based sector.  The programme is targeted at individuals who are looking to plan for, and integrate sustainable practices into their own work, lifestyle blocks ,farms, horticultural growing businesses, home gardens, as well as those working in community projects, and those wishing to extend their agricultural and horticulture teaching skills to using sustainable practices.

Compulsory across all Strands

Course CodeCourse Name
NZSPP1.001Introduction to Permaculture
NZSPP1.002Biodynamics and Seed Saving
NZSPP1.003Introduction to Regenerative Agriculture

Horticulture Strand

Course CodeCourse Name
NZSPP1.004Permaculture Property Design
NZSPP1.005Water Conservation and Wetlands
NZSPP1.006Food Forests and Shelter
NZSPP1.007Sustainable Soils
NZSPP1.008Biointensive Growing and Market Gardens
NZSPP1.009MPI Food Safety
NZSPP1.010Small Animals/Birds/Bees

Outcome Statement

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Evaluate a land based system for compliance with a production standard
  • Plan sustainable practices for a land based system in compliance with a production standard
  • Implement and monitor sustainable practices in a land based process or activity, within a wider system, to meet production goals and compliance with a production standard

Education Pathways:

This qualification builds on the New Zealand Certificate in Land Based Sustainability Practices (Level 3) (Ref:2684)

This Qualification may lead on to qualifications in agriculture or horticulture at Level 5 or above

Employment Pathways:

Graduates of this programme may be employed or self- employed as growers, land based practitioners, environmental officers, compliance officers, farm effluent managers or Department of Conservation workers


  • 22 weeks Fulltime Horticulture Option (20 teaching weeks)
  • 22 weeks Fulltime Agriculture Option (20 teaching weeks)
  • 46 weeks Part -Time Horticulture Option (40 teaching weeks)
  • 46 weeks Part -Time Agriculture Option (40 teaching weeks)

Entry Criteria

Academic Achievement

Applicants should demonstrate an ability to succeed in tertiary study, shown by the completion of any of the following qualifications or courses of study:

  • National Certificate in Horticulture/Agriculture Level 3 and/or equivalent qualification or experience in the industry.
  • Certificate in in Land Based Sustainability Practices Level 3

English Second Language Students

Applicants whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools or other teaching institutions is not English, require an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 5.5 or above (or equivalent) for enrolment.

Life Skills/Work Experience

Applicants who do not meet the academic entry criteria above may be admitted to the programme/course of study if they are able to demonstrate:

  • Equivalent horticulture/farming knowledge and skills (minimum three years in the industry)

Selection Criteria

All applicants will be required to meet with the tutor or field officer of the programme they are applying for prior to starting – this will be an informal conversation which will include covering the programme expectations and getting a better understanding of suitability for the programme.  Where there are more applicants than places available or the programme is not the best fit, a waiting list will be kept or our team will work with you to provide a suitable alternative. On completion of this conversation the tutor will assist with filling in the full application form to move into the next part of the enrolment process.

Sustainable Primary Production (Level 4) FAQs

What is this course about?2023-11-10T14:12:34+12:00
  • This is a 70 credit NCEA course, that will teach you about how to use land in a sustainable way.
  • You will achieve your NZQA level 4 in Sustainable Primary Production. Graduates of this programme will be able to work within environmental sectors, or within the Department of Conservation.
Who can do this course?2023-07-04T11:17:36+12:00
  • You will need a National Certificate in Horticulture/Agriculture Level 3, and/or equivalent qualification or industry experience.  
  • You must be a NZ or Australian citizen or have NZ residency. You cannot do this course if you are here on a work visa. 
  • Call us on ‘0508 TRAIN ME’ if you have any other questions about enrolments and eligibility. 
How will this course benefit me in the workforce?2023-07-04T11:22:14+12:00

By the end of this course, you will have completed the National Certificate in Sustainable Primary Production (Level 4) which is an NZQA recognised qualification. The skills gained during this course are the building blocks for getting a job within the sustainability and conservation sector. Having this qualification proves you have the skills required for these jobs, giving you a higher chance of being employed in this sector. 

How long does this course run for?2023-07-04T11:18:51+12:00

This course is either 22 weeks full-time or 46 weeks part-time. 

How is this course structured?2023-08-03T15:15:37+12:00
  • This course is made up of practical work and online theory work. 
  • Part-time students will attend classes either once a week or once a fortnight depending on the site, while full-time students attend classes 4 times a week, with an extra day available for catch-up. All students will have access to the online resources when not in class. 
  • This is an online and practical based course. Learning will be partially taught, and assessed on our online learning platform, Canvas, and partially assessed by practical based assessments.
How much does this course cost?2024-01-11T11:23:28+12:00
  • This price for this course is currently under review.
  • You can call us on ‘0508 TRAIN ME’ for more information on the course costs.
  • You will have access to LBT equipment, gear and resources needed for this course.
Where is this course run?2023-11-27T12:10:46+12:00

Sustainable Primary Production in Horticulture is run with a rolling in-take in Marton, and Christchurch. Our part-time courses are running across New Zealand, from Kaitaia to Christchurch and everywhere in between, with more locations to come! Call us on ‘0508 TRAIN ME’ to register your interest or find the closest course to you. You can find a full map of all our courses here: Where to find us! 

Learn more by enquiring today…

I got my level 3 Dairy Farming through Land Based Training. It was so cool. I met nice people and the tutor is awesome. I class them all as the naki whanau

Pip Davis

Yeah the best course around to be honest. Learnt so much!

Brandon Te Kahu

I’m a level 2 Horticulture student and the tutors are so awesome and supportive. The other students are cool, we are a fun bunch. I have learnt so much in a short amount of time.

Kelly Wheatley

Awesome course, learning heaps & loving it! Free knowledge, a priceless gift I will always be grateful for.

Meredith Everett

Contact Info

191 St Hill Street Whanganui, 4500

Phone: 0508 TRAIN ME

Go to Top