About the Primary Industries sector

Primary Industries

What’s the work like?

There’s a huge range of jobs in this environmentally friendly sector, with a variety of experiences and opportunities on offer. You could work in the outdoors, in some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, planting, growing, or tending animals, trees, and crops. You may work alone, sometimes in isolated places, or with a bunch of like-minded people who may become friends for life. Your work will change with the seasons, sometimes it’s light, sometimes it’s physically and mentally demanding. There’s also plenty of sophisticated high-tech toys to play with and plenty of on-the-job training to help you learn to use them.

If you’re not working directly on the land you may be visiting as an adviser to part of the industry – in arboriculture, water, or environmental management, the equine industry, or maybe as an accountant, mechanic, or vet.

Further from the farm, you could be in a processing plant, turning primary produce into value-added goods for sale and export. Here you’ll be indoors, again working with high tech equipment and possibly working flexible hours – great if you’re not keen on a regular 40-hour week.

You might work far from the farm in a big city office, organising shipping, or developing government policy. If you’re into science and technology, you’re valued in this sector, whether you’re analysing data or contributing to the next world-leading agricultural breakthrough. Safety is a very strong focus in all parts of the sector because there’s always an element of danger. 

What’s great about this sector?

There’s a broad range and diversity of jobs from hands-on farm work to science or business roles and there are many opportunities to learn new skills and move into different areas of each industry. There’s always something new as technology and equipment change constantly.

You can earn good money, work outdoors or indoors, alone or with mates, and play with some great technology.

It’s a big sector for Māori with a large proportion of New Zealand’s forests, fisheries, and dairy farms now Māori-owned and operated. No matter what part of the sector you choose to work in, you’re contributing to an important and sustainable sector that’s one of New Zealand’s biggest employers and major exporters.

If you care about the Earth and the environment it’s a good place to be. Whether you’re from a rural background or a townie, there’s something here for you.