Our Approach

At Waipaoa, we believe in shaping young farmers not only to be great farmers, but skilled business people too. Yes, you need to be able to mend a fence and take care of your stock, but in today’s competitive agriculture industry business applications are equally as important to your success.


Agriculture is a vibrant, interesting industry that offers much in the way of opportunity and diversity. It is also a business and, to gain employment at all levels, future generations will need to be highly skilled - not only in the practical component but in business application as well.

The Waipaoa training model has been developed keeping in mind that our graduates must be familiar with key business components such as, record keeping, forecasting and analysis, human resource management and IT.

We also ensure the skills taught in the classroom areable to be applied out in the paddocks. We challenge our cadets to apply their training practically and use their new skills frequently.

Providing solid leadership and mentoring is also something Waipaoa excels at. We are able to offer more one-on-one learning and make sure our cadets receive the very best farming education possible.

Theory Programme

While classroom learning is vital, all cadets really want to be outside on the farm – so that’s what we do. Lectures are run fortnightly. Cadets complete written unit standard assessments with topics synchronised to complement current farm operations. This learning is overseen by a dedicated training manager who lives on site and whose sole focus is on the academic success of our students.

Practical Training Programme

Waipaoa cadets work with training staff daily on the station, performing normal farm procedures. Each cadet has an individual skill development plan and Waipaoa staff plan farm work activities to align with those plans. Practical assessments are completed throughout the course based on unit standards and course requirements.

Short Courses and Specialist Tuition

Keeping up with the latest industry developments, techniques and information is an essential part of a cadet’s education, and improvement and innovation is always welcomed at Waipaoa. So, in addition to our core training staff, we welcome various industry experts to Waipaoa to provide lectures and short, specialist courses throughout the year.