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New fund helps secure the future of the A&P Spring Show


New fund helps secure the future of the A&P Spring Show

The custodians of Gisborne’s most beloved community event, the A&P Spring Show (the Show), have established the Poverty Bay A&P Association Endowment Fund at the Sunrise Foundation to protect the future of the event.

Norm Thomas, Poverty Bay A&P Association (PBAPA) President says as a child he came to the Show every year with his parents and he wants to ensure they can provide that kind of experience for generations to come. “I feel passionate about the Show and want to pass it on to our kids. The biggest challenge we face is financial security. It’s a massive job maintaining the facilities at Showgrounds Park and an enormous task to deliver an event of this size every year.”

The Show’s first patron Henry J Tucker donated over thirty six acres of his land to PBAPA in 1930 which saw the creation of the one hundred acre site at Showgrounds Park. Over the years PBAPA has developed the site which now has a motor camp, events centre and the Riding for the Disabled Arena.

Norm says although these assets contribute financially, they still rely heavily every year on a successful show. A bad weather event can be the difference between breaking even or the organisation being in a tough position. “Our board members are determined to build long term sustainability for our organisation and security for the Show’s future. We believe Sunrise’s endowment model is an excellent way to create an enduring legacy that will offer more return as time goes on and the endowment grows.”

Erica McNeil, PBAPA General Manager, says our show is one of the most successful in New Zealand and is bucking the trend of many by growing in popularity. “Trade exhibitor applications are stronger than ever this year, businesses from Gisborne and around New Zealand believe our show is a valuable platform to promote their business and thank their customers in a relaxed fun environment.”

She added they have seen competitors in events such as wood chopping and fencing grow, and dog trialling entries are the biggest in New Zealand. The majority of entrants in these sections come from out of town. “Not only is the Show bringing people to Gisborne who might not have otherwise come here, it also brings town and country together promoting a wide variety of rural activities and introducing potential rural business and job opportunities to a diverse audience.”

Rob Telfer, PBAPA Vice President, says board members remember how things were twenty years ago and are committed to seeing that legacy continue. “Very few A&P Shows around the country have as many sections as we do. We believe the success of our show is due to nurturing and growing the traditional sections, while at the same time introducing new attractions. The food and wine, and house and garden sections have proven to be popular and are getting busier every year.”

Rob says they are lucky to have the support of the entire community, with 18,000 people attending the Show each year, a membership base of over 1,100 and many loyal sponsors, supporters and volunteers. “We will be adding donations from our members and supporters to the endowment fund, meaning their donation now, will keep on supporting our cause forever.”

Norm added that Showgrounds Park and the Show are enduring treasures of the Poverty Bay and East Coast communities and are drawcards for locals and visitors alike. “As a board we are conscious that Showgrounds Park and the Show have been around for a very long time and have been greatly helped by many people who have donated their time and money for over a century. As the present custodians, we want to build on their generosity and leave things in a stronger position for the long run.”

Glenda Stokes, Sunrise Executive Officer believes the Show is an integral part of Gisborne life. “For over 140 years the Show has been enjoyed by thousands of families and has contributed to the social and economic fabric of our community. It helps preserve and celebrate our rural heritage and we are delighted to help fundraise to ensure it is here for future generations.”

Glenda added that PBAPA is one of the oldest surviving organisations in Gisborne. “There aren’t many entities in New Zealand that can claim such longevity. Even so, it is a battle for the small organisation to stay financially viable and deliver this large and complex event. Their new endowment fund will help secure the future of the A&P Spring Show by guaranteeing a reliable source of income forever.”

All donations to the Poverty Bay A&P Association Endowment Fund will be invested, protected and grown to keep up with inflation. The surplus investment income will be returned to PBAPA each year.

Ends

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