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National Trade Academy, Christchurch, South Island


The National Trade Academy provides New Zealand and international students with a range of Agriculture Training Courses, Equine Training Courses, Horticulture and Animal Care Training Courses towards national qualifications for careers in these land based industries. We also offer international students English language courses and tuition which can include unique New Zealand experiences, such as English & Horse Riding, English & Horticulture and English & Agriculture.

At our specialist Agriculture & Equine Training Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, we cater for New Zealand students, international students and school students.

Our Training Centre offers specialist purpose-built facilities to ensure you receive quality, professional training. Located just ten minutes from Christchurch city allows our students access to practical training on the land, with the option of living in a metropolitan area. The New Zealand National Trade Academy is based on 70 hectares at McLeans Island, in the Waimakariri River Regional Park. All students are involved in the day to day running and development of the farm and riding school. On-site we have classrooms, horticulture gardens, glasshouse, shadehouse, tool sheds, irrigated pastures, student common room, farm animals, sand 'all-weather' riding arenas, stables and yards. Everything you expect from a top quality, land-based training facility is conveniently all on one site.

All equipment is provided at our New Zealand land based Training Centre, so you can learn in a safe and professional environment. By being well protected and having the opportunity to practice skills in the approved industry method, you will establish confidence in performing tasks independently, in an efficient and safe manner - which is what employers are looking for in their staff. At our Agriculture & Equine Training Centre we have motorbikes, ATVs, fencing tools, trailers, agrichemical equipment, safety equipment such as helmets, tractors, stock yards, chainsaws, tools and a fully equipped equestrian centre with a full range of equine tack.

Combination of theory and practical training gives students the very best opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge they require in order to be employed in their chosen sector. Practical-minded students thrive at NTA New Zealand with the 'hands-on' learning we offer each day.

Trained and experienced tutors with small classes, ensure that students receive quality agriculture and equine training. All our tutors have relevant qualifications and experience in the industries they are training students for. Some staff have their own businesses or New Zealand farms, which gives students a unique insight into what working in their chosen industry can be like. All staff at NTA have a real commitment to our students. We will go the extra mile when placing students into a job and ensuring a positive outcome for all involved.

The following items are free/included with our course fees:
  • Computer & wireless internet access
  • Assistance to find work
  • Help with further study placement
  • Student kitchen to make light meals
  • Tea and coffee

Study possibilities at NTA (2024 prices)

New Zealand Certificate in Equine Skills (Sporthorse Stable Assistant) (Level 3)

The purpose of the New Zealand Certificate in Equine skills (Sporthorse Stable Assistant) Level 3 is to provide the equine industry with individuals who have the skills and knowledge to assist in the stabling, care, and/or exercise of horses in the performance horse sectors of the equine industry. The Sporthorse Stable Assistant strand reflects the specialist skills required to work in the Sporthorse industry in a riding role.
NZ$ 6,3450 for 15 weeks; course material NZ$ 250 and registration fee NZ$ 350

New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills Level 2

These courses have the support of farmers who recognise the importance of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Students will gain practical skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to working in the rural sector. Students will develop work habits and practice appropriate skills for further training and/or employment in the Agriculture industry, if you have or apply and are granted a work visa. This qualification will enable international students to work on a NZ farm before they return to their home country to apply the knowledge and skills gained.
NZ$ 6,300 for 12 weekscourse material NZ$ 250 and registration fee NZ$ 350

New Zealand Certificate in Animal care (Level 3) Companion Animals Strand

This programme is targeted at people who wish to gain the skills and knowledge to enable them to enter a career as an assistant in the animal care industry or to go on to further education.

(Fees Free & Student Loan available for eligible students) Please enquire for eligbility

International English Language Courses

The National Trade Academy offers a range of English language training programmes at four levels for international students. Recently we have continued our innovative approach to education by developing options for international students to combine their English language study with unique New Zealand experiences such as horse riding, farming and horticulture.
NZ$ 400 per week tuition (up to 13 weeks)
NZ$ 380 per week tuition (14 till 23 weeks)
NZ$ 360 per week tuition (24 plus weeks)

English + Horse Riding, Agriculture or Horticulture 4 weeks 

Improve your English language skills and learn New Zealand agriculture terminology and practical farming skills. You can learn or improve on any of the following skills: Ride an ATV (Quadbike); Ride a motorbike; Drive a tractor; Fix fences; Milking operations in a NZ dairy shed
NZ$ 450 per week plus NZ$ 250 course material and NZ$ 200 registration fee

In 2018 NTA achieved NZQA approval to deliver Commercial Pilot license training to international students as part of our future diversification.

Work Rights

General Full-time English only: If you study at NTA for 14 weeks or more you are eligible under new immigration rules to work part-time, outside your study hours, up to 20 hours per week.

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