Initiatives from community

This page outlines a request to focus part of our Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) advice on the Equine sector after receiving feedback from community stakeholders on its potential.


In preparing our advice to TEC, the Waikato Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) received a request from community related to Equine which was not an area of strategic interest in our Regional Workforce Plan (RWP). The request was well thought out and identified a shortfall in training for what is an industry of scale with overlap between the Waikato region where horse breeding is prevalent and the Auckland region as a location of the Bloodstock. The request included depth of information about the sector that has not been assessed in detail by the Waikato RSLG. We include the request in this advice to TEC on the basis of following through on messaging at the RWP launch where we invited initiatives from Community.

The New Zealand Racing Industry generates $1.6b in revenue each year.

This includes:

  • Thorough-bred
  • Harness
  • Greyhound racing.

Thorough-bred racing accounts for 68% of this; almost 45% ($364m) coming from the Waikato. Industry leaders advise that the industry requires more qualified instructors; the Waikato region faces a shortage of qualified instructors to teach horsemanship, riding skills, horse health, and nutrition, especially for young riders. Many equine professionals in the area are self-taught, which highlights the need for formalised training and education to maintain competitiveness and stay up to date with industry trends. Byerley Park and Skill NZ have partnered to develop the New Zealand Equine Academy that is benchmarked at an international standard. This was in response to industry need for pre-employment training, ongoing professional development, improved literacy, and numeracy, and better working conditions.