Te rāngai waina | Wine

Please also refer to the 2022 Regional workforce plan (RWP), specifically the section on Wine.

Te rāngai waina | Wine

The wine sector is the largest industry in Marlborough. According to the Marlborough Economic Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2032, Marlborough produces around 80% of Aotearoa New Zealand’s export wines and the industry contributes approximately 20% of Marlborough’s GDP. The Strategy also notes that wine’s contribution to the Marlborough economy has increased by 300% since 2000 and continues to grow, and it employs, both directly and indirectly, 1 in 5 people in the region.

Marlborough Economic Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2032 [PDF, 1692KB](external link) — Malborough District Council

The Marlborough wine industry has made rapid progress with regional workforce planning and New Zealand Wine released a Sustainable Workforce Development Plan 2022-2024 in December 2022 [11]. The industry-led steering group has developed a framework to plan for the long-term needs of the Marlborough wine sector workforce.

There is a need for an improved evidence base to inform decision making and monitor change. Work to gather high resolution data on current and future workforce roles, skills, and gaps is being planned as part of the Marlborough Wine Sector Workforce Development Plan. The workforce data collection project aims to get quality data from industry members and critical industry suppliers to benefit the wine sector in Marlborough and nationally.

Marlborough is strategically important to the wine sector and programme provision must reflect the local needs of this $2.4 billion-dollar export industry [12].

Our recommendations for Wine education and training in Marlborough

  • Maintain the existing viticulture and wine related training that are available in the region and are highly valued by the sector. Training is required at all levels to provide entry points and upskilling opportunities.
  • Invest in sufficient and suitable professional development for managers, particularly leadership capabilities and competencies tailored to the specific needs of the wine sector. This includes but is not limited to: New Zealand Diploma in Horticulture Production (Winegrowing strand) (Level 5); New Zealand Diploma in Primary Industries Business Management (Level 5); New Zealand Certificate in Business – Introduction to Team Leadership (Level 3).
  • Invest in employability skills and work readiness for all groups and especially for rangatahi.
  • Invest in embedded literacy and numeracy in industry training programmes as some learners do not have the basic skills necessary for them to succeed in the industry and complete qualifications.
  • Invest in the development and local delivery of entry-level qualifications (NZQF levels 2 and 3) that combine industry relevant skills, communication, mātauranga Māori, and health and safety. This has the support of Muka Tangata WDC.
  • Invest in sufficient and suitable digital skills training. Some learners do not have the basic digital skills needed to succeed in the industry and complete qualifications. Digital skills training needs to be embedded in industry training programmes.
  • Invest in emerging skills and training as the wine industry innovates and embraces new technologies. These will likely include a greater focus on engineering, automation, and digital skills.


[11] New Zealand Wine, Sustainable Workforce Development Plan 2022-2023, December 2022, unpublished.

[12] Wine Marlborough, unpublished.

Last updated: 20 June 2023