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Colliers Rural Valuation team is growing by attracting young talent


Colliers Rural Valuation Scholarship open for entries for 2021

Colliers Rural & Agribusiness Valuation team are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2021 Colliers Rural & Agribusiness Valuation Scholarship. This is the sixth year that the scholarship has been offered and it aims to reward excellence in the study of rural valuation.

Chris Boyd, Executive Director of Rural Valuation, explains the motivation behind the scholarship and other initiatives the team has in place to grow the profession: “Developing a highly competent, experienced, well-resourced team of valuers and mentoring young people entering the field has always been important for our business and is at the heart of the success of our team.”

The Colliers Scholarship is a great opportunity for Lincoln University students undertaking the Bachelor of Land and Property Management (Rural) degree to get Colliers' backing during their studies, helping them launch a career in rural valuation.  We are looking for people who strive for academic excellence with good communication and interpersonal skills. Candidates’ potential to succeed will also be taken into consideration.

“There is a shortage of rural valuers in New Zealand and this scholarship is just one of our efforts to mentor keen young valuers into the industry” says Greg Petersen, a Director based in Christchurch. "Our scholarship recipient often gets the opportunity for exposure to the rural valuation field through paid summer work experience during their studies."

Since 2015, we have had eight students from Lincoln University who benefitted from one or more of these opportunities. Six of them are now full-time employees. In the past 12 months alone, we have welcomed a record number of graduates, employing Georgia Marshall in Christchurch, Hunter Van Der Fits in Richmond, Nelson, and Brylie Gordon in Tauranga.

It all started with that scholarship

Hunter Van Der Fits was the latest recipient of the Colliers Rural & Agribusiness Valuation Scholarship. Of receiving the scholarship, he says: "It really shaped my career in valuation even though it is still early days. The money is always helpful, but the best part about it was the opportunity to work with Colliers over summer and get a taste for the ins and outs of rural valuation. As I was considering this as a potential career, the internship was something I was interested in. My summer spent with the Christchurch team was enjoyable and included a range of work from analysing sales, writing reports, inspecting farms, and sales. Getting out of the office and talking to clients is always good fun with some farmers proving to be very engaging. After a successful summer with the team, I was offered a full-time position in Nelson and started in September 2020. There is a large variety of work here in Nelson, where I work under the guidance of Blue Hancock." 

Nicola Leith was awarded the Colliers Rural Valuation Scholarship in 2018 and joined the team the year after. “I joined the company as a graduate valuer in early 2019 and feel incredibly fortunate to have Greg Petersen as my mentor as I work towards registration. Greg's ability to provide guidance and pass on his deep understanding of complex rural valuation matters is second to none.

"Being a part of a larger valuation practice and the wider Colliers team has also had huge benefits including providing technical resources as well as access to highly regarded experts who are always willing to help.”


rural valuation scholarship now open for 2021 heading

Clear pathways going forward

The first recipient of the scholarship, Kate Day, joined the team in 2016 after graduating and is now a registered valuer, leading the charge to establish our new office in Invercargill.

“I was the happy recipient of the 2015 scholarship. It helped me during my studies, and it also put me in good stead for entering the workforce, as I was employed by Colliers after graduating. However, the most exciting part for me is, how future oriented the company is and that it provides clear pathways going forward to aspire to, whilst still providing scope for each person to delve further into aspects of the industry they are interested in,” says Kate.

Jack Powell, our 2015 graduate, and now experienced registered valuer, recommends Colliers as an exciting place to start your career. “The senior valuers put a great deal of time and effort into mentoring us to ensure we are all well prepared for registration. Colliers provides a wide range of opportunities to expand your skills and establish yourself in an area of interest. After six years in Christchurch gaining solid experience in the dairy sector, I am now based in Marlborough working to establish myself as a viticulture specialist.” 

Growing in confidence and acquiring new skills

Georgia Marshall joined the Blenheim office in 2019. Marshall says, “I spent the summer working with Tim Gifford after my third year of study at Lincoln University. Over the course of the internship, I assisted with the inspection of vineyards and wineries, which represent a significant share of the work we do in the region. One job to remember was the helicopter ride we did for an inspection of a large sheep and beef station with a commercial hunting use. Definitely not your usual day in the office!”

“The knowledge, experience, and networking opportunities I gained during the summer internship enabled me to grow in confidence and acquire a variety of new skills, planting the seed for a successful career in the valuation industry.

“In 2020 I joined the Christchurch team and now work closely with Tim Banks, predominantly valuing dairy, sheep and beef, arable, and the occasional lifestyle block. Just recently I attended an auction for a property we valued. We were right on the money which was very satisfying!”

Brylie Gordon is our most recent graduate appointment, she started this February and is now working under Chris Boyd in Tauranga. Gordon says, “during my studies I had contacted the Colliers Rural and Agribusiness team and they helped me with advice on courses I would find most beneficial based on my interests. This led to a summer internship last year under the supervision of the Christchurch team. After graduating Lincoln University, I was offered full time employment with Colliers.

“I always had an interest in the horticulture industry and being able to work with Chris Boyd has taught me a lot about kiwifruit sector. I really enjoy being out in the field and is amazing to see unique properties, like the one we visited recently in Kerikeri to inspect - a large, development kiwifruit orchard which was the first of its kind in the Northland area.

“Working with a large team means there are many experts across different rural sectors that are very helpful and willing to extend their knowledge. I found applying for the Colliers scholarship opened up a lot of doors and would recommend it to anyone studying towards a rural valuation career path.”

The value of the scholarship is tuition fees up to $2,500.

The Scholarship is open to New Zealand permanent residents and citizens.

Applications close 23 August 2021.

To obtain an application form or any enquiries, please contact Denitsa Stoeva or Nicola Leith.

Related Experts

Chris Boyd

Executive Director | Rural Valuation


Chris has 36 years valuation and consultancy experience across a wide variety of property related matters including compensation, financial reporting statutory compliance, acquisition and rural valuation. He previously held senior positions at both Valuation New Zealand and Quotable Value – where his primary focus was the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.

His client work for the firm since 2008 has covered a range of property types and issues including; agribusiness, horticultural ,  lifestyle and residential development land, forestry land valuations, Emission Trading Scheme issues, specialised asset valuations, valuations for financing, due dilligence tax compliance, trust formation, matrimonial disputes and compensation. In addition he has provided expert evidence in the High Court, District Court, Maori Land Court, Environment Court  and Land Valuation Tribunal.

Chris’s infrastructure sector experience has included valuation and advisory projects covering compensation for easement and right of way property interests acquired by Transpower and other leading New Zealand energy companies, for new transmission lines and infrastructure upgrades, and compensation assessments for Crown entities taking property under the Public Works Act 1981 for motorways and pipelines.

His forestry sector experience has encompassed numerous valuation and advisory engagements throughout the country – including advice in relation to devolution of the New Zealand Forestry Service in the late 1980s, land value and rental review assessments as part of Crown Forestry license protocols and Maori Land rental review requirements, various Treaty of Waitangi settlement awards and providing expert evidence.

Chris is based in our Tauranga office and offers our clients sound market advice founded on a comprehensive understanding of the specific sector dynamics and balanced by experience gained working on behalf of owners, regulators and adjudicators in both the public and private domain. He is involved in a number of practice areas including forestry, dairy, Kiwifruit Avocados, infrastructure and pastoral.

Chris is the immediate past chairman of the Tauranga branch of the Property Institute of New Zealand and is a member of  the Waikato No. 4 Land Valuation Tribunal and the Directors Institute of New Zealand.

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Blue Hancock

Director | Rural Valuation

Richmond (Rural Valuation)

Blue has over 38 years valuation experience encompassing rural and resource interests, specialised agriculture  assets, public sector property (especially forest interests), expert evidence and management. His prior work in senior roles with both Valuation New Zealand and Quotable Value has given him broad property knowledge – with a particular emphasis in the forestry sector.

His client work for Crighton Anderson has traversed a range of property types and issues including; forestry land valuations (lessor and lessee interests), Emission Trading Scheme issues, specialised assets, agribusiness, lifestyle subdivisions, valuations for financing, tax compliance, trust formation, matrimonial disputes, Maori land issues, aesthetic land and compensation. In addition he has provided expert evidence and acted as an arbitrator in a number of judicial contexts.

Blue’s work previously encompassed managing the rating revaluation and roll maintenance programmes for six local authorities in the South Island, giving an in-depth understanding of rating issues and the valuation of exotic forests and national parks, and acting as Principal Consultant (Rural and Forestry) for Quotable Value. Blue’s more recent large-scale engagements have included the valuation of forest assets in Otago, Nelson, Marlborough, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and Northland for financial and Treaty of Waitangi settlement purposes, as well as Crown Forestry License rent reviews. .

Blue’s personal involvement in agribusiness extends to ownership of a West Coast pine plantation and membership of the Farm Forestry Association. As past President of the Property Institute of New Zealand and former President of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers, Blue is highly regarded by both his clients and peers in the profession. He is based in our Nelson office and plays a key role in our agricultural and forestry sector practices and in our dairy pastoral and horticulture valuation teams..

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Greg Petersen

Director | Rural Valuation

Christchurch (Rural Valuation)

Greg is an experienced registered valuer and leads our Canterbury rural valuation and property consultancy team in Christchurch.

Greg specialises in the valuation of rural property throughout Canterbury and the South Island. His work for the firm has included financial reporting valuations of large scale rural portfolio’s, compensation assessments for major infrastructure projects and one off individual farm valuations for lending, estate and development purposes.

Greg offers our clients excellent technical skills and he has a highly developed understanding of the public sector and relevant legislation. He plays a lead role in our corporate dairy farm valuation work, high country, infrastructure compensation and in other valuation practice areas.

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