Head Gardener - Pukeiti

Pukeiti is a world-class 360 hectare garden and rainforest nestled between Mount Taranaki and the coast, just south of New Plymouth. It holds one of the largest and the most diverse collections of rhododendrons in the world and is rich with biodiversity. Pukeiti is a bustling hub of activity, amongst the stunning garden setting there is the ever popular Founders Cafe, The Rainforest Centre, Lodge and studio accommodation.  The property is continuing to expand and undergo major developments contributing to our significant visitor growth. Pukeiti is owned and managed by the Taranaki Regional Council for the people of Taranaki and their visitors.

We currently have an opportunity for a passionate and determined Head Gardener, to lead the team and to be part of the Pukeiti vision enabling a wider audience and future generations to enjoy this world class garden and rainforest.

The Head Gardener - Pukeiti will lead the team by example in the maintenance of the gardens and the display of the extensive plant collection at Pukeiti. This hands on role takes responsibility for the day to day operations of the garden and will manage, motivate and inspire their staff.

The successful applicant will be an experienced working public gardener with a clear understanding of horticultural best practices coupled with excellent communication and relationship building skills. You will have demonstrated experience with staff mentoring, management, development and training.

You will also support management in the development of the gardens through contributing at the design stage and implementing new planting plans.

You will also play a pivotal role in promoting Pukeiti to the people of Taranaki and beyond; through garden tours, events and functions.

To be successful in this role, you will need to possess the following skills and attributes:

  • Nationally or internationally recognised horticultural qualification

  • Practical experience in gardens management and maintenance

  • A passion for plants and the practical care of them

  • Previous team leader experience

  • Exceptional communication skills in all mediums

  • Competent in a range of administration tasks

  • Competent computer skills

Innovation and self motivation are required, together with a good level of fitness and an ability to do some heavy lifting. A current driver's licence is also essential.

This position is full-time working from Monday through Friday, with the occasional weekend day required for workshops and garden festivities.

Like to know more?

Taranaki Regional Council offers an attractive workplace in a friendly and supportive environment.  The job description is available by clicking on the link below.

For any further information, please call Karen Smylie, HR Manager on (06) 765 7127.


Please note, this is a re-advertised position.


Applications close on Thursday, 23 January 2020 and must be made directly through this website.


The Council is committed to equal employment opportunities.

Permanent Full Time

Job no: LGAJ97358

Location: Pukeiti

Closing Date: Thursday, 23 January 2020