Goat farmer and EnviroNZ divisional manager Carl King was elected chair of the Warkworth A&P Show at the show’s annual meeting late last month, replacing previous chair Allan Barber.
At the same time, Karen Black was appointed secretary/treasurer, a position she formerly held with the Kumeu Show.
Mr King says he first decided to get involved in the A&P Show after reading a Mahurangi Matters article that suggested it might cease after 150 years if volunteers could not be found to help run it.
“I certainly did not want the A&P Show to finish. I was happy to step in and do what I could,” he says.
Mr King served on the A&P Show committee during 2020 before volunteering to stand for the job as chair.
He says it’s the first time he’s been involved in organising a community show, but he has served on several boards during his business career, which has given him an understanding of how to get things done.
Mr King was born and bred on a farm in Northland and A&P Shows – notably at Warkworth and Arapohue – were something he grew up with.
He says while the traditional elements of the Warkworth A&P Show need to be retained, it must be flexible and move with the times.
“It’s pretty clear the public love the petting zoo, love the children’s playground and the trade exhibits – we’ve got to build on that,” he says.
Mr King would also like to see a return of the cattle classes and equestrian events – something missing in recent years, partly due to fears of spreading the cattle disease M. bovis, and timing clashes with the Horse of the Year show.
But he says these events can be expensive to put on and the committee needs to be sure they can be funded.
Next year, he hopes to see mounted games introduced. This is a fast-paced equestrian sport that sees competitors participate in various races and challenges.
Meanwhile, he will be encouraging fellow committee members to take a look at other A&P Shows around the North Island to figure out what makes them successful and what could also work well in Warkworth.