Covid Update: A And P Show Cancelled In The Far North
One of New Zealand’s northernmost A and P shows has been cancelled as a result of the new Covid-19 crisis.
The North Hokianga A and Show was to have been held on Friday and Saturday at Broadwood, about 45km south of Kaitaia and 65km west of Kaikohe.
Executive committee member Tony Clutterbuck, who has been involved in running the show’s shearing competition for about 40 years, said the decision was made at a meeting last night (Monday).
“The decision wasn’t made lightly, there was a lot of discussion, but we had no option,” he said, of the situation that has developed with Northland under the restrictions of Alert Level 2, but separated from the rest of the country by the Level 3 near lockdown of Auckland..
It’s shearing competition was one of four on Shearing Sports New Zealand’s calendar for this weekend, with the other three awaiting further decisions from Government in the wake of those announced on Sunday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Organisers of major event the Southern Shears shearing and woolhandling championships on Friday and Saturday in Gore are hoping to proceed even if the Level 2 alert remains in place, putting in measures to meet the limits of no more than 100 in the venue at any time, physical distancing and other conditions that may be in place.
About 1800 sheep are being prepared for the two-day event which includes all grades from Novice to Open, and which starts with woolhandling from 9am on Friday. The shearing on Saturday starts at 7.30am on Saturday, and includes the South Island Shearer of the Year final.
The other competitions are shearing-only championships at the Ohura A.P.H. and I. Show (10am start)at Niho Niho Showgrounds, between Ohura and Matiere in the Central North Island, and the Murchison A and P Show(11am start), between Nelson and the West Coast.
Ohura Shears organiser Kieran Bruce has over 300 sheep currently show sheep destined for crutching on Wednesday, in the hope the show will go ahead.
The Te Puke and Counties shears, which are normally held in February, had previously been cancelled for this year.
Meanwhile, the 61st Golden Shears are still set to go ahead on March 4-6, although society president Sam Saunders says they wouldn’t be able to be held if the Level 2 alert remained in place at the time.
“It’s not going to make much difference whether we cancel tomorrow or in two weeks’ time,” he said, adding the society would then have to work on refunding entries and other funding.
Events New Zealand board member Kevin Murphy, of Napier, said for most events organisers planning an event had to include everything from managing an event without restrictions to managing a cancellation.
The pandemic crisis has so far led to the cancellation of 18 shearing sports competitions since just before the Level 4 lockdown started in March last year, all but four of them being at A and P shows, which were mainly also cancelled.