It costs roughly $80,000 to stage the show each year under the auspices of the Royal Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and it wouldn’t happen at all without the hundreds of hours contributed by volunteers.
Chairman Allan Barber says a lot goes on behind-the-scenes to make it all come together on the day.
He says the society needs to find ways to attract members who pay an annual subscription and volunteers who can help with running specific parts of the show.
“Ideally, we are looking for younger people who are enthusiastic and have time and energy to commit,” he says.
“This isn’t always easy when the bulk of the work has to be done during the January school holidays, in the weeks leading up to the show. Last year, Louise Graham, who has a young family, came on board to run the indoor section. She did a marvellous job and is an example of exactly the sort of person we need.”
There is a range of sections that make-up the show, from trade, cattle, equestrian, alpaca and dog trials to entertainment, arranging judges and stewards, and gate fee and parking coordination.
Allan is also conscious of the huge gap that long-time secretary Marjorie Blythen will leave when she finishes after next year’s show.
“Her knowledge of how to run the show, replace judges at the last minute and solve the myriad of unforseen issues that crop up will be nearly impossible to replace.”
Although sponsorship fluctuates from year-to-year, the show committee has welcomed back long-time supporters Wharehine Contractors this year, who along with Bayleys Real Estate, are the show’s biggest sponsors.
“We are also grateful for the long-time support of companies such as The Bridgehouse, Masons/Northland Waste, Coresteel, Hutchinson Consulting Engineers, Wilson Hellaby and Auckland Council/Rodney Local Board.”
Allan says attendances are difficult to estimate but 6000 to 7000 would be an average.
Next year’s show will be held over two days – January 28 & 29 – with a bumper programme of events planned.
If anyone would like to know how they can lend a hand, contact Allan Barber on 422 9515, 027 447 7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org