Having finished his National Certificate in Horticulture (Level 4) from Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in 2012, Steven is now studying towards a Diploma in Environmental Management, with a further ambition of achieving a Bachelor of Science with a major in sciences.

If it seems like Steven’s schedule is full enough as it is, he still manages to squeeze in use of the polytechnic gym and pool daily, with an occasional climb of Mt Maunganui thrown in for good measure.

“I do my best to maintain a high level of fitness for fieldwork and adventures – like climbing Mt Ngauruhoe, tramping, and other expeditions.”

Steven always takes a camera along on his trips to capture his experiences of New Zealand’s unique native flora, fauna, and geological scenery like Tiritiri Matangi and Tongariro National Park. When he isn’t able to get out in the field, Steven finds the library is a great resource in obtaining field guide and identification books.

So why horticulture? Steven says it was the stepping stone that enabled him to see the world from a completely different aspect and it gave him the insight in how important the environment is and also how humans as individuals can live a healthier and more positive and sustainable lifestyle.

“I wanted to expand on the subject matter I learnt from my National Certificate and the Environmental Management course was exactly what I needed – outdoor pursuits, travelling, and a detailed bigger picture view of the environment.”

Steven uses his horticulture skills to propagate and produce organically grown food all year around to maintain his health. He also likes being able to use the knowledge and skills gained in class in his daily life.

“I have been learning valuable life skills, like leadership, confidence etc. and travelling to locations I have never heard of before or seen, all while studying with passionate tutors and classmates who want to make a difference.”

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