Greenery and grave sites all in a day's work

New skills: Simon Moore, 31, wields the tools of his trade.
New skills: Simon Moore, 31, wields the tools of his trade.

Simon Moore has learned the sombre skills of good burial practice on the job, and has passed the qualification to back up his expertise.

The 31-year-old father of two has gained a level 3 qualification in cemetery through the New Zealand Horticulture Industry Training Organisation, allowing him to supervise burials.

He has also achieved a level 4 qualification in amenities horticulture with the same organisation.

The Mayfield man received on-the-job training while working at Nelmac, a landscape and horticulture maintenance company.

He is to be honoured by Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman in a ceremony to recognise the achievements of the people who gain qualifications through apprenticeships and work-based training.

Mr Moore grew up in Blenheim and, having enjoyed musical theatre in high school, he headed to Auckland to study drama.

However, it wasn't long before he moved to Nelson to work for Nelmac.

"I really enjoy being outside and working with native plants," he said.

Mr Moore began chipping away at his studies while trimming hedges and shrubs, before following his heart to Belgium, where he stayed for three years and began to hone his skills as a gardener.

"They are very particular over there, pedantic in a way."

He returned to Blenheim with his partner to start a family in 2009 and began working for his old employer.

These days he is mainly involved in maintaining Marlborough District Council green spaces as well as overseeing occasional burials. He said he enjoyed learning on the job and recommended it to others.

Mr Moore will receive a certificate at a ceremony on September 22 at Floor Pride Marlborough Civic Theatre.

The Marlborough Express