Christchurch’s NZ Agricultural Show has fallen victim to Covid-19 – again.
The Canterbury A&P Show has been cancelled for the second year in a row.
Around 100,000 people normally attend, with many rural business trading at the event.
The event is one of three that make up the Cup and Show Week in November. The A&P show, Addington Cup Week and Riccarton Park Races were projected to bring in more than $4m of visitor spending and 22,275 visitor nights.
It’s not just the loss of the event but the loss to retail, hospitality and entertainment businesses which miss out on the people who don’t come to the city because the event isn’t taking place.
Joanna Norris, chief executive of the city’s economic development ageny ChristchurchNZ, said it was a massive loss for the city and region.
“The government’s health-based approach to Covid-19 is essential and we absolutely support it.
“However, businesses and the major events sector need a clear outline of the pathway to lower alert levels in the South Island.
“Protecting the lives of New Zealanders is of primary importance, however sustaining safe community and economic activity in the South Island is also of huge importance.”
ChristchurchNZ and the show asked the government to allow the outdoor event to trial a vaccine certificate programme but couldn’t get approval in time, Norris said. . .
Couldn’t get approval in time. Sigh – again.
Does no-one in the government and its ministries understand the need for urgency?
. . .Organisers said the executive committee of the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society met last night to review the risks and after significant consideration, made the hard decision to cancel.
The show was scheduled to run from October 20th-22nd. It’s one of the largest in the country and usually attracts 30,000 people to the Tomoana Showgrounds. . .
Organisers of the Waikato A&P Show, which was also due to get underway in October, announced they were cancelling the event earlier this month. At the time they said this was because of the uncertainty around Covid-19 alert levels.
The Gisborne, Wairarapa and Waikato A&P shows were also due to take place next month but have all been cancelled as well.
Oamaru’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations have also been cancelled.
There will be many more shows and events that have been, or will be, cancelled as uncertainty about Covid alert levels continues.
The government can’t prop up every organisation, but underwriting the bigger regular events and shows would enable people to plan without facing financial disaster if they had to be cancelled.