New Zealand Agricultural Show Postponed for 2024: Organisers Promise Return in 2025
Rural News
Rural News

New Zealand Agricultural Show Postponed for 2024: Organisers Promise Return in 2025

In a disappointing announcement today, the Canterbury Agricultural & Pastoral Association board revealed that the much-anticipated New Zealand Agricultural Show would be postponed for the year 2024. 

However, amidst this setback, the organisers assured the public that livestock judging and competitions would still take place.

Stewart Mitchell, Chair of the Board, expressed regret over the decision but highlighted the opportunity it presents to reevaluate the Association's strategic direction. 

"Twelve months of costs and three days of revenue is not a great business model by anyone’s analysis," he said, emphasising the financial challenges faced after years of uncertainty, particularly exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial considerations weighed heavily in the decision-making process. 

"After two Covid years and a recent financial loss in 2023, the Association’s financial reserves are limited."

With the risk of further losses in 2024, the Board deemed it unwise to proceed with a full-scale public Show.

Acknowledging the disappointment among the Show's attendees and exhibitors, Bryce Murray, President of the General Committee, assured stakeholders of the Association's commitment to returning stronger in 2025. 

"The Show has been running in Christchurch since 1863, and while this is frustrating, we promise to be back stronger and better than ever next year," Murray said.

Despite the postponement of the main event, plans to continue with stock judging and competition events for 2024 remain in place. This decision mirrors the adaptations made during the COVID-19 "No Show" years of 2020 and 2021, ensuring that elements of the Agricultural Show tradition endure.

Looking ahead, Mitchell indicated ongoing efforts to review the governance model and pursue commercial transactions aimed at securing the Association's future. Notably, negotiations with the Christchurch City Council regarding the transfer of land held by the A&P Association are nearing completion. This transaction, involving a 100-year lease, will facilitate public use of the land while supporting the Association's long-term sustainability goals.

While the postponement of the New Zealand Agricultural Show for 2024 may disappoint many, organisers remain steadfast in their commitment to delivering an exceptional event in 2025. 

The decision reflects a pragmatic response to financial challenges and underscores the Association's dedication to ensuring the Show's enduring legacy. As plans continue to evolve, stakeholders can anticipate a renewed and exciting experience when the Show returns next year.