Study arboriculture for free^

New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (Level 3) with a strand in Arboriculture

As part of the government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) to rebuild New Zealand's economy, this programme is now free^. For terms and conditions, more information, and other programmes covered by this scheme, click here.

Due to high demand, we recommend applying early.

Programme highlights

­­Open the door to a career in arboriculture where you could be scaling a 20-metre high tree one day and planting Titoki trees the next.

When you graduate, you'll be ready to get a job working as an assistant to an arborist or an arborist groundsperson. Our graduates also get work as independent contractors.

You can study this course if you have no experience or if you're already working in the industry and want a formal qualification.

Aspects of this programme are physically demanding, please talk with an Ask Me! agent if you face fitness or mobility challenges.

Key facts

Start month(s)

February, July

Study location(s)

MIT TechPark

Level 3
Domestic fees


Youth Guarantee (fees-free*) Not available
Programme code NZ2678-01

Full-time for 17 teaching weeks, part-time available.
The maximum time to complete this programme part-time is 3 years.

Study method


Credits 70
International fees Not available to international students
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship (fees-free*) Not available
Qualification leads to

New Zealand Certificate


Entry requirements


Open entry for domestic students

There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.

English language entry requirements

You will need English language competence to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English (an assessment may be required if your first language is not English).


Programme structure

You will need to complete the below four courses (70 credits):

861.369 Plants and planting (20 credits)

Demonstrate communication skills, selecting and planting plants for use in the arboriculture industry

861.370 Grounds persons duties (15 credits)

Interaction with team members and colleagues, using and maintaining arboriculture tools, carrying out site clean-up and grounds persons duties

862.402 Climbing and climbing equipment (20 credits)

Use climbing gear and equipment, demonstrating climbing techniques

862.403 Chainsaws (15 credits)

Use and maintain chainsaws, work safely in an arboriculture situation and carry out maintenance of trees.

Key dates and timetables

To find the key dates and timetables of this programme, please view the trades calendar.

Career opportunities

Assistant arborist and arborist groundsperson. For potential salaries visit

Information is correct as at February 2021. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2021 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2021 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2021 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2021 are based on the 2020 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2021. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology Limited is accredited under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.

^Free study for this qualification may be available to you under the government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). Visit for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student and meet any other entry criteria as required. Some costs may also apply. Free study is subject to funding confirmation.