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Ellerslie Flower Show On Hold

19 April 2004
News release

Ellerslie Flower Show On Hold

The Rotary Club of Auckland announced today it would not be holding the Ellerslie Flower Show this year, but was hoping to find another organisation to stage future events.

The decision was made not to hold the Show this year after a search for a new major sponsor proved unsuccessful.

“An event on this scale needs the support of at least three key sponsors, plus a number of smaller supporters,” said chairman David McGregor.

“We were delighted that the ASB Bank and Newztalk ZB were back on board after years of continued support, but TVNZ, chose not to renew their contract for this year. That decision made it so much harder for us to find a new sponsor.”

Rotary, being a community based organisation, doesn’t have the resources to make up the difference but does want to see the show continue.

“It’s a fantastic event with last year’s show the best yet – this year our 10th anniversary was even going to top that.

“Planning for the show is well underway so we’re going to offer the event for sale and anticipate a new organisation will take it over, in order for a show to be staged in 2005.”

He said the Ellerslie Flower Show had always been a success, attracting about 70,000 visitors annually from around New Zealand and overseas and injecting more than $12 million into the region’s economy each year.

Rotary established the Ellerslie Flower Show as a fund-raising event and held the first show in 1994. Since then it has raised almost $700,000 for charity.

“It is the largest horticultural show in the Southern Hemisphere and is eagerly awaited by gardening enthusiasts around the world. For Rotary, however, it has grown too big and we want to focus our charity work on other activities,” Mr McGregor said.

Ellerslie Flower Show chief executive Cath Handley said: “We were really pulling out all the stops for this year. We had many innovations planned, both in terms of exhibits and visitor facilities and new interest coming from the fashion sector.”

She said the Manuakau City Council have been extremely supportive of the show and it would be disappointing for the city to lose such a major and exciting event.

A book celebrating the show’s history and highlighting favourite exhibits, was still going ahead - compiled by passionate show-goers it will be due out later this year.

- ends -

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