Marlborough Express - Show season

Columns
Friday, November 7, 2014

November marks the beginning of the show season and the Kaikoura electorate is blessed with many A & P Shows. My first show as a Member of Parliament was the Amberley A & P Show on November 1st.

There was a great crowd who enjoyed an exciting day of events, trade displays and of course the obligatory side shows.
Last weekend was Marlborough’s A & P Show. After working Saturday morning cutting firewood to raise funds for a worthy cause, I had an enjoyable afternoon at the Show. One of the privileges of being a Member of Parliament is the honour of officially declaring the Show open. I also had a vested interest in the Gift Sheep competition as we had an entry. There were some great entries unfortunately we came away empty handed.

There are gems at A & P Shows that are easily missed, for example the old engines, pumps and an early rapid evaporation refrigeration plant many of which are over 100 years old. They have been lovingly restored and operating for all to see.

The sheep pens are always worth a walk through with the best examples of the breeds’ that our nation’s standard of living was built on.

But my personal favourite this year was the wood chopping. Marlborough was fortunate to have axe men (and an axe woman) from Australia competing against Hokitika’s World Champion Adam Lowe. If you appreciate sport you can’t help but be impressed with Lowes skill and power, despite a significant time handicap he literally blew the competition away.

Another major event hosted in Marlborough on the same weekend was Nelmac Garden Marlborough. This is a unique event that showcases the regions beautiful gardens with workshops and social events such as the Julie Biuso dinner and the Garden Party which I had the pleasure of attending. There were participants registered from all over New Zealand.

This week sees the Canterbury A & P Show, the biggest of its type in the Country and I will be attending on Thursday.

The quality of all of these events is due to the hard work and preparation that goes into organising them by the many volunteers and I note that work has already begun preparing for next year.
The next time you attend one of these events, spare a thought for the dozens of volunteers that work to make these iconic events possible.

These events are a vital part of the fabric of provincial New Zealand that we must celebrate and preserve.