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Jason Culbert

-Head Grower

Specialist Tomato Grower

Jason grew up in Pukekohe as one of four siblings and started in the industry at the ripe age of 16. After leaving school at the end of 5th Form to pursue an apprenticeship in the Kiwifruit industry, mark ended up landing a three year apprenticeship a Pukekohe based Tomato grower.

After working with three other growers Jason soon worked up to Grower manager before joining NZ Hothouse as a Grower Assistant in 2003 and became a senior grower for the company in 2005.

In 2011 Jason was appointed Head Grower, now responsible for the growing operation as a whole.

Jason is proud to be a grower at NZ Hothouse as it supports his beliefs of being spray free. “To be able to grow tomatoes for the family and not have to wash them – NZ Hothouse is the epitome of that”.

With over 80 staff of many races and cultures at the Karaka site, Jason finds it vital to work as a team, not as a hierarchy, believing that 90% of growing is the people.

Jason is extremely passionate about the industry he is in and forever wants to be in the Tomato Industry, where he has been for the past 20 years.

Jason and his wife Phillipa met in the Glasshouses in a previous job and married in 1999. He believes only a women who knows about Tomatoes would marry and put up with him. Now with three children, Jason is a very involved father and tries to spend any time he can with his children.

Jason and his family live on site at the Karaka property which he sees as a lifestyle, allowing him to be able spend more time with his children, and stay at home mother Phillipa, who ferries the children to different sport and extracurricular commitments five out of seven days a week.

The family enjoys spending time out on the boat whenever a fine day, and spending family holidays at the family bach in Whitianga on the Coromandel. Jason is right into his diving and soft bait fishing, as well as getting the kids up on a pair off water-skis or on a sea biscuit.

The family spent their first holiday up Mount Ruapehu in 2010, and hope to be able to spend more time there over years to come.

Playing touch keeps Jason fit and social, as he has a real taste for a social drink in the form of red wine.


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