22 May 2024

Christchurch company proposes taking over 2024 New Zealand Agricultural Show

6:52 am on 22 May 2024
Canterbury A&P Show Country Life

Photo: Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

A Christchurch hire company is proposing to take over running the 2024 New Zealand Agricultural Show to ensure this year's event goes ahead.

In April, the Canterbury A&P Association board announced it was cancelling this year's show due to financial difficulties, and earlier this month most of the board announced they would retire.

Phil Anderson said his company, Event Hire, had sent the association a proposal to run a slimmed down version of the show, with a reduced number of stalls and visitors.

He said they would hope to get between 30,000 to 50,000 visitors over three days. Last year the show got 110,000 visitors.

They are also proposing moving the show from Thursday to Saturday, rather than the traditional Wednesday to Friday.

The Agricultural Show usually ends on the Canterbury Anniversary Day public holiday.

Anderson said reducing the visitor numbers would help the planning process.

"From a planning perspective it is good to work with limited numbers," Anderson said. "You can do pre-sales, and manage your infrastructure. Its really driven around traffic management, and toilet infrastructure et cetera."

Anderson said they also want to reduce the entry fees to make it very affordable for families, and to reduce the cost for stall holders.

Under the proposal, the association could either lease Event Hire the land to run a show in conjunction with the association's showing events, or have Event Hire partner with it and share profits.

"What we are trying to do is remove a lot of the risk for them, and just say here is a guarantee for money you could make."

Anderson said the proposal does present certain risks for the company.

"There is definitely heightened risk for our company, the cost to do it and the exposure. I mean we want to deliver this really well, and obviously people will give feedback, and you are in the public eye."

He said they also have an ongoing relationship with the show which they did not want to damage.

Anderson said they were encouraged to get involved by a number of customers who usually have stalls at the show, and wanted to see it go ahead this year.

He said they are meeting with the board on Tuesday, and would need a decision by the end of May in order to get on with planning.

The Canterbury A&P Association board has been approached for comment.

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