The following are some frequently asked questions (FAQ's), should you not find out what you need to know please contact us for help.

For School students, see our FAQs here.



Are you eligible?

Further advice will be provided upon enquiry. Most programmes will require gumboots, overalls, wet weather gear, and steel capped boots. The majority of our programmes require the applicant to be 16 years or older however our Primary Industry Training Academy (PITA) programme starts in schools from Year 10 onwards. This varies region to region, please contact the PITA office on 0800 TARATAHI.


Does Taratahi cater for students with reading or writing difficulty?

Yes.  All students will be tested when they begin their programme. Literacy and Numeracy is embedded into their everyday work. The tutors who are available during the evenings will help students who struggle with reading and writing.

Some assessments can be done verbally and the exams can be done with a reader/writer (this means a staff member can read out the exam questions and/or write down the exam answers for students). 

The programme manager will offer students help from outside sources like SPELD (Specific Learning Difficulties), if the student wishes to do extra work to help with their literacy and numeracy difficulties.


International Students

Are there any scholarships for international students that I could apply for?

We currently do not have scholarships available specifically for international students. However, you could try the following websites which have information on scholarships for international students.

New Zealand Aid Scholarships Programme

New Zealand Ministry of Education Scholarships

Can I pay my fees in instalments?

If you are applying to study a programme that is one year in duration, you must pay the full fee for this duration. If you are applying for an 18 month programme, you should pay the first year fees before you commence your study at Taratahi (your visa will be issued for this period) and you will need to pay for the remaining balance in your second year and apply for a renewal of your student visa.

Can I work during the semester and Christmas (summer) holidays?

Under New Zealand Immigration laws, if you meet specific requirements you may work part time for up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full time for up to 40 hours per week during all scheduled breaks, provided you meet the programme requirements.  You can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week if your full-time programme of study is at least two years in duration or leads to a New Zealand qualification that qualifies for points towards an application for a Skilled Migrant visa. For more information, please visit the NZ Study and Work website.

Does the tuition fee include accommodation and meals?

No. Taratahi offers student accommodation on our Masterton campus for $265 per week on top of tuition fees.

How can I obtain a Student Visa?

International students are required to obtain a student visa in order to live and study in New Zealand. Further information and application forms may be obtained from Immigration New Zealand or by contacting the nearest New Zealand Embassy or High Commission in your region.

Please see the Immigration New Zealand website for more information. For information on your nearest New Zealand Embassy or High Commission, please visit the New Zealand Embassies website for more information.

How do I apply to study at Taratahi?

If you would like to enrol in a programme that is longer than 3 months in duration (either 40 weeks or 18 months) you can apply for admission by downloading an international student application form from the Taratahi website. Please complete this application form and email it to with the required supporting documents noted in the form.

How do I get to Masterton from Wellington international airport?

Taratahi is a 90 minute drive from the Wellington airport. Taratahi may be able to pick you up from the airport and transport you to Taratahi, provided we receive two weeks’ notice. There is a public train service from Wellington to Masterton, however please note that there are limited train services with further reduced services on the weekends.

For information on train times between Masterton and Wellington, please visit the metlink website.

I have paid my fees, but I have changed my mind about studying. Can I get a refund?

If you withdraw from your course of study before the completion date, you may be eligible for a refund of tuition fees. To be eligible for a refund, you must apply in writing to Taratahi setting out the special circumstances of the claim (the New Zealand Immigration Service will be notified if any student ceases to attend Taratahi for whatever reason).

If an international student withdraws themselves or is withdrawn for disciplinary, non-attendance or other reasons from a course of study at Taratahi that is longer than 12 weeks in length;

Prior to programme commencement date**; any fees paid will be refunded; less 10% of course fee total for administration costs
Within 10 days after programme commencement; any fees paid will be refunded; Less 25% of the course fee total.
More than 10 days after programme commencement and before 10% of the programme of study has been completed, an amount no greater than 50% of the course fees will be payable. Accommodation and meals (if applicable) will be payable to the end of term following the withdrawal date.
After 10% of the programme of study has been completed, the course fees will be payable in full. Accommodation and meals (if applicable), will be payable to the end of the term following the withdrawal date.

(Programme commencement is defined as the first day the student has agreed to begin their programme of study).

In exceptional circumstances, refunds may be granted on compassionate grounds such as death of a close family member, serious illness or accident. All such refunds will be at the discretion of Taratahi’s Chief Executive Officer.

If I have a change of residency status, will I be refunded the difference between domestic and international fees?

If your residency status changes and you gain permanent residency, please bring a certified copy of the Permanent Residence page of your passport to the Taratahi International Team immediately. They will advise you on how the change will affect your fees.

I've decided not to accept my offer of admission to Taratahi. What should I do?

If you decide not to accept the offer of admission, you should contact Taratahi as soon as possible to let us know.

Should I send the original copies of my academic transcripts or qualifications?

As documents submitted in support of an Application for Admission will not be returned, please do not send originals. You must submit a certified copy of the original.

What are the English language requirements for Taratahi?

In line with New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s (NZQA) English language policies for international students, Taratahi will accept international students who meet the criteria for existing English language proficiency:

1.  Completed all primary education and at least three (3) years of secondary education (equivalent to New Zealand years 9 to 13) at schools using English as the language of instruction

2.  Completed at least five years of secondary education at schools using English as the language of instruction

3.  Completed a tertiary qualification of at least three years duration with English as the language of instruction in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States
Achievement of the Certificate in Teaching English to Adults (CELTA)

Taratahi also accepts a range of English language entry tests such as IELTS. For information on other tests we can accept, please see the Table for Internationally Recognised English Proficiency Outcomes for International Students on the NZQA website. For the Diploma in Dairy Management, please see the outcomes required for Certificate or Diploma at Level 5.

What is a Student Visa?

This is an endorsement in your passport that allows you to enter New Zealand.

What is the process for applying to study at Taratahi?

Once Taratahi receives your application you will be sent an acknowledgement by email that we have received your application form.   Taratahi will assess your application form and supporting documents.  If we feel that you meet the requirements for entry to your chosen programme, we will issue you with an offer of place letter and schedule of dates.

This should then be submitted to your local office of Immigration New Zealand, along with your student visa application form and supporting documents.  INZ will then review your application. If they feel that you meet the requirements for a student visa, they will give you visa approval in principle.

Once this has happened, please let Taratahi know and we will issue you with an invoice for you to pay your tuition fees.  Once we receive your tuition fees, we will send you a receipt as proof of payment which should be sent to INZ who will issue you with your visa.

What is the proportion of theory work to practical work at Taratahi?

Generally speaking, Taratahi’s programmes are 20% theory based and 80% practical based.

Where can I live while studying at Taratahi?

Taratahi offers student accommodation on our Masterton campus. Students who stay on campus are provided with three meals a day in our on-campus dining room.

Taratahi is located in a rural area and is a 10 minute drive from Masterton. We provide transport for students to go to town from time to time to buy supplies and for social activities. If you do not want to stay at Taratahi, you can stay in Masterton in your own accommodation arrangements or with a host family (we can arrange a host family subject to availability). Taratahi can recommend alternative accommodation options if required.

Who can certify my documents?

Your documents must be certified as a true and accurate copy of the original by a lawyer, Justice of the Peace, officer of a New Zealand Education Centre, Embassy, High Commission or Consulate General. If your documents are in a language other than English, please also provide a certified English language translation.

Will Taratahi help me find a job?

There are many options for finding a part time job in Masterton. There may also be opportunities to find part time work on farms as Taratahi is made aware of these opportunities from time to time. Taratahi can assist in finding a job, however the responsibility to find a job rests primarily with you.


Wairarapa Residential Students

Are all meals provided?

Yes.  All meals are provided to first year students. Students who are out on-farm for training will either have a packed lunch made for them or make their lunch at the farm; we will provide the supplies for these. When students are away on-farm they prepare and cook morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea for fellow students and tutors.  This is to encourage students to learn how to cook for themselves and others.

Monday evening dinner (Monday night roast night!) is a compulsory meal because before this dinner a student meeting is held where notices are shared between staff and students, so it’s important that students are at this dinner each week.

Meals are provided in the dining room:

  • Breakfast 6.30am – 7.30am Monday – Friday / 8.30am – 9.30am Saturday & Sunday

  • Lunch 12.00pm – 12.30pm

  • Dinner 5.30pm – 6.00pm

Are students allowed to leave campus?

Yes.  Students may sign out on week nights but must be back on campus by 9pm.  On weekends (if they are not rostered on-farm) they must be back on Campus by 9pm on Sunday.

Students can also sign out for an overnight stay off campus, with the approval of the Campus Manager.

Are there activities to keep busy after training?

Yes!  We work hard to make the campus a ‘home away from home’ and put on activities in the evenings and during weekends. Our campus team organise Tuesday night sport nights. We organise occasional quiz nights, student vs. staff sporting competitions and activities in the gym. Outdoor basketball hoops are available in the quad for impromptu games.

We provide transport to weekend sports for students who are playing or supporting friends. We also organise gun licences for students who are keen hunters, tutors will often take out small groups of students to go hunting in the Wairarapa bush.

We create silver service dinner experiences with staff as guests, to give students confidence in a formal setting and practice talking to lots of different people.

We provide regular trips to Wellington and local events and attractions.

We offer driving lessons in a car bought by the Student Council, to encourage students to gain their drivers licence – being able to drive is very important when you’re in your first job on-farm.

Are we allowed visitors on campus?

Yes.  You are allowed to have guests at the campus but they must stay in the public areas, we do not allow visitors into block accommodation or pods. 

Can students keep a car at Taratahi?

Yes. Students can apply to keep a car at Taratahi. At the beginning of their programme we collect details about the type of license they have. If this changes during the year we ask that they update their records. Cars must be kept in the student car park.

Do we buy our own working dogs if we are a sheep and beef student?

Only Sheep and Beef students can bring a dog onto campus.  It is the student’s responsibility to purchase their dog and to have enough funds to care for their dog while at Taratahi. 
All dogs must be approved by our Sheep and Beef Manager before they are accepted onto campus. 
For first year students, dogs must be two years or older and under full command. 
We provide weekly dog training with our Sheep and Beef Manager or a specialist dog trialling trainer.

How can I make sure I get a pod?

If the student has been on a Taster Course and shown responsible behaviour, the chances of them being allocated into a pod are higher.   At the beginning of the year it is based on age, typically younger aged students will be allocated block accommodation. 
Pods are mixed gender.  Students can personalise their rooms as long as they do not damage the walls. 

How do students get out and about if they don't have a car?

Students with the appropriate licenses are allowed to carry other students in their vehicles out of class time. Some students may be approved, if they have a full license, to carry other students in Taratahi vans to off campus activities.

Transport into town is provided by Taratahi. This will depend on the availability of the Supervisor and availability of vehicles. Students are also transported if they wish to join local sports clubs and other interest groups.

Transport into town is also provided to meet buses, trains or to take students to medical appointments if they do not have their own vehicle.

How do we care for students?

We care for our students like we would care for our own children.  We make sure they are looked after and are achieving.  We let students know we are there for them if they need to talk about anything that is worrying them and we celebrate their successes.

We have a Campus Manager who lives permanently on campus.  We also have two Residential Supervisors who are on campus during the night and weekends.  There is adult supervision 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some students bring medication on campus for health issues they have.  This medication is locked and stored with our Campus Manager who administers the dosage.  Our hostel staff are first aid trained.

We make doctor’s appointments for students if necessary and arrange for them to be taken to these appointments and brought back to campus.

Taratahi has a zero tolerance for bullying, drug and alcohol consumption on campus.  For more information on policies relating to bullying, drug use and alcohol please call our office on 0800 TARATAHI.

As well as teaching students good work ethic, respect of other students and colleagues we also teach the importance of looking after themselves.  This includes keeping hydrated, eating well, good sleep habits, personal presentation and encouraging them to create a strong support network of friends and family.

We are firm, but fair.  The campus is home for our students while they are with us, so we do everything we can to make sure they feel supported, safe and happy.

How much butchery is there in the year long programme?

There are a few scheduled modules in butchery into sheep and beef student’s timetables.  Dairy students also have the option to include butchery modules into their programme.

Is there compulsory homework time?

No.  However on a regular basis there are at least two nights per week where theory tutors are available after dinner to help students with their work.

We encourage and help students develop a study habit and do in some instances keep an eye on students to make sure that they are following a planned study programme.

What are the hours of study?

Dairy students can be 4.30am-5.00pm (there can be a range of start times dependent on where they are training and the dairy schedule);

  • Sheep and Beef students can be 7.00am-5.00pm;
  • Theory days 8.00am-4.00pm (for all students); and 
  • Students may also be rostered on farms during the weekends.

What facilities are provided?

Students are expected to do their own laundry. Washing machines, washing lines and dryers are provided free of charge.

We have a gym with some weight equipment and a computer room where they can access the internet and study.

We have a student recreation room with a pool table and SKY TV, and a student lounge area off the dining room.

What types of accommodation are there?

Although we feel that living on campus is the most beneficial option for our students, should your teen want to live off campus, Masterton is only a 10 minute drive from the campus with affordable rental properties.

First year students at Taratahi live in accommodation pods which house eight students each or an accommodation block consisting of 60 single rooms.  Our block accommodation is complemented by a large kitchen/dining/living and recreation area and facilities. There is no guarantee that a student will end up in a pod or in a single room.

Second year students usually live in one of five self-contained houses on the campus. Each second year student is allocated their own room in one of these houses.

Is there staff on duty all the time?

Yes. The Residential Campus Manager lives on campus.  Campus Supervisors are on site from 5pm until 12 midnight. They are available to students who have any concerns or problems 24-7.

What's the value of living on campus?

Living on campus allows our students to be fully immersed in the lifestyle that comes with the agricultural industry.  Our supportive staff encourage constant learning and take pride in developing good work ethic with our students.  Some advantages of living on campus include:

  • Less time to travel to and from campus (better time management);
  • Being with other students who are on a similar career pathway encourages networking and friendships to develop;
  • Fun activities and events are organised for students;
  • First year students enjoy three hearty meals a day in our dining room;
  • We create a family environment for our students; and
  • There are staff that live on campus 24-7 who provide support, advice and structure for our students.


Questions? Get in touch

The Latest



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Taratahi’s latest “try before you buy”residential Taster course in the Wairarapahas filled up faster than ever before.

Wairarapa Graduation 2016

Wairarapa Graduation 2016

Monday, 10 October 2016

Graduation is a highlight of a student’s life. The annual Taratahi Wairarapa Graduation ceremony is no exception, and is one of the biggest events in the region, with close to 500 people attending.We are delighted to announce that Graduation for our 2016 students will be held on 24 March 2017. We are giving advanced warning of the date to allow parents and students time to book travel to this event.

Coming Up: