President of industry body Landscaping New Zealand and director of Design & Garden Landscapes in Dunedin; Wayne Butson tells us about his background and vision for the future of the industry.
What is your background within the industry?
I have been involved in the horticultural and landscaping industry since school, as I did my pre entry work for Lincoln College at Pukerau Nurseries, then a year at Lincoln Dip Hort (Failed with honors…) I then returned to work with Arne Cleland at Pukerau Nurseries and then made the move to Dunedin working as a landscape contractor with another 3 companies. I completed my NDH (National Dip Horticulture) then back in 1991 went out in business for myself.
What made you decided to pursue a career in landscaping?
My start in the landscaping industry started with me working with Arne at Pukerau Nurseries wrenching open ground trees in the school holidays. I then decided I liked the outdoors, and followed through to Lincoln College.
During my time at Pukerau and the horticultural industry, Arne also carried out landscaping around Otago and Southland. It was this work that interested me the most and inspired my interest in the design aspects and creative opportunities.
What challenges do you think the industry is facing?
Our industry is similar to others that share the Do-it-yourself concept, that is anybody with a spade and wheelbarrow can call themselves a “landscape professional”, this is far from true, and the main reason I became involved with Landscaping New Zealand was to become a member of an organization that promotes professional practice and standards.
One challenge is to get on board the many businesses that are carrying out high quality work throughout New Zealand but are not current members. The challenge is to build and strengthen what we currently have and to increase our resources and voice as a professional body.
What are the key areas you will be developing within Landscaping New Zealand?
At this stage we are in the process of putting together our joint conference with NGINZ in Queenstown, I think we have the opportunity of working alongside other leading organizations aligned with our industry, this could be with bi-annual conferences or activities and training, but at all times we need to remain committed to our own core sector of the industry.
We will be working hard to develop and strengthen industry partnerships. I am also hot on member benefits, and we are at present looking at providing new member documentation, increasing public profile and looking at bulk buying programs and member loyalty discounts.
What are the main strengths you bring to this role?
I have been involved in the landscape industry for some years and have also previously been on executive and involved in LNZ subcommittees . It has been a huge challenge for me personally to take this presidents role on, as I am more happy to be behind the scenes, but with the help from my executive and our admin and business managers my job has become much easier. I will strive to bring all of us together and to keep our organization moving forward. We are still a small group, but my main goals will be to form an effective executive that will allow our key objectives to become reality.
Do you have a personal vision for landscaping New Zealand?
I would like our organisation to increase in size, with all landscape professionals wanting to be a member, this is my vision.
For more information about Landscaping New Zealand – click here