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2004 Royal Easter Show Official Opening Speech

MAYOR’S OFFICE
AUCKLAND CITY

Moving Auckland Forward

Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City

6 April 2004

2004 Royal Easter Show Official Opening
Mayoral speech notes

Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland Show Grounds
7.00pm, Tuesday 6 April 2004

President of the Auckland A&P Association, Mr Ian Maclennan

Chairperson of the Auckland AAP&I Shows Board, Mr Robert Tilsley

General Manager Auckland Showgrounds, Mr Mark Frankham

Manager of the Royal Easter Show, Mr Robin Hill

Chairperson of the Royal Easter Show Art Committee, Duncan McNab

In 1843, soon after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and following the founding of the Auckland Agricultural and Pastoral Association, the first A&P show was held in Auckland.

It aimed to demonstrate excellence in agriculture and animal husbandry, and to promote the breeding of stud animals to establish and increase the farm animal gene pool in the emerging colony.

In the early years the show was held at the Auckland Domain, Mechanics Bay, Newmarket, Otahuhu, East Tamaki, and at Albert Barracks.

The show moved to Greenlane for the first time in 1873. A return trip by rail from the city, and admission, was two and three pence.

Following in the footsteps of Sir George Grey, Sir John Logan Campbell – the Father of Auckland – served as show president.

In 1903 Logan Campbell gifted the One Tree Hill estate, which of course includes the showgrounds, to the people of New Zealand. At the time he described it as the “crowning glory of his life”.

In 1910 the Auckland Showgrounds were established on Greenlane Road with the first show on the new grounds the following year.

I take this opportunity to give praise to the landowner, Cornwall Park Trust Board.

I salute the leadership shown by the distinguished chairperson of this august body over many years, Dr Lindo Ferguson. The trust board has done much to keep alive Logan Campbell’s vision of retaining public open space while working well with others and keeping an open mind.

The Cornwall Park Trust Board has shared the vision of the forward-looking Auckland Showgrounds Board. That vision is to:

“Provide an exhibition centre that the people of Auckland will be proud to own and national and international promoters will be excited to use as their first choice to promote all types of exhibitions.”

Auckland City Council supports this objective. We view the showgrounds as part of a portfolio of international economic infrastructure for Auckland that is both necessary and in need of an upgrade if we are to become a competitive global city.

This city does not and never has competed with Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin. Instead we compete with the likes of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Singapore.

The Showgrounds Board and Auckland City are determined to deliver an international development that we can all be proud of and one that exudes a quality of design and functionality that Auckland is well and truly capable of.

The new exhibition centre will be a staggering 15,000 square metres in size – that’s four times larger than any other venue in the country and will put us on the playing field with our Australian sisters. Auckland City is looking to fund up to $5 million of the total project cost.

Won’t it be magnificent – a world class exhibition space for international car shows, family expos, cultural events, and where we have the capacity to host and cater for world-class banquets and functions like APEC.

An exhibition centre here at the showgrounds will be great for the powerhouse of Auckland, will be a national asset, and a big attraction for those international companies looking for second-to-none host facilities in this corner of the world.

Undoubtedly the numbers of shows for the public to enjoy and for trade exhibitors to partake in will only grow.

All parties committed to building an exhibition centre will continue to work together to ensure this joint vision becomes a tangible reality sooner rather than later. Today I can report: So far so good!

I am pleased to also note that 161 years on the Royal Easter Show is in great heart. It is an institution and a highlight on the Auckland entertainment calendar.

What began as a purely agricultural event to help the fledgling colony develop a sound farming economy, has grown to become the country's largest and most varied family festival in the 21st century.

Best wishes to everyone involved in the show for the coming six days.

I salute the organisers and participants of the long-running Royal Easter Show Art Awards – the country’s largest and most prestigious. Good luck with tonight’s presentations.

Enjoy the artworks on display in the art hall and the award-winning wines from the New Zealand Wine Society Royal Easter Wine Show competition.

It is with great pleasure that at the conclusion of tonight’s formalities I will be cutting a ribbon in the foyer of this Logan Campbell Centre to open the New Zealand Children’s Art Collection – on display for the first time ever. I acknowledge the New Zealand Children’s Art House Foundation.

I would now like to officially open both the Royal Easter Show and the Royal Easter Show Art Awards for 2004.

Ends

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