Life at Waipaoa

Being a Waipaoa cadet is an amazing learning experience and a great way to launch a farming career, but there’s still life to live in there too.

Because cadet training is our number one priority we have a full-time, live-in team consisting of the training manager and cook.

The station includes living quarters for Waipaoa cadets, a kitchen, lounge, and lecture room enabling the cadets to live and learn onsite. Due to the size of our facilities, our cadets quickly become a close knit group, with staff acting as “parents”, mentors, and friends to the 10 students living at the station. Working and living together has its challenges, but they are vastly outweighed by the advantages of having a built in support network. Any differences are settled in front of the rugby at the weekend!

Senior and junior cadets are paired to take care of the general hostel duties, including milking the cow, feeding the horses and pigs, managing dog food supplies, cleaning the hostel and general maintenance. We see this as a critical component to their training – every cadet leaves Waipaoa as a useful well-rounded member of a team, well- equipped to handle the day-to-day needs of living on a station.

They say the way to a farmers’ heart is through his or her stomach, so each cadet is also taught to cook and is expected to assist during meal preparations when on hostel duty.

Personal Development

All cadets are mentored on a daily basis, and taught self-management, leadership and teamwork. Senior and junior cadets are teamed up and need to operate as a unit, reinforcing the importance of role modelling and teamwork. These are values that Waipaoa cadets take with them into their farming careers and are part of what makes them such sought after young graduates. Throughout the two-year course, we focus on personal development at an individual level, instilling core values in our cadets. We provide them with confidence in themselves and their skills, which makes them an asset to any commercial farm.

Life in Rural Gisborne

Waipaoa is approximately an hour’s drive from Gisborne, in a rural and somewhat isolated setting. Life on the farm operates at a different pace to that of town, but we like it like that. Waipaoa’s relative isolation and small rural community are a good way to slowly acclimatise our cadets to the realities of rural farm life. Free time can be spent exploring Gisborne itself with its shopping, cafés and restaurants, or the East Coast with its beaches, hunting, and fishing. Not a bad way to spend a weekend! Many of our cadets join the local Ngatapa Rugby and Associated Sports Club – a great way to meet the locals and keep the fitness levels up.