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Nine remaining competitions cancelled

Shearing

The New Zealand Shearing Sports season is over, with the cancellation of nine competitions that were scheduled for the next three weeks.

The cancellations include six A&P shows, with confirmation on Wednesday that the Oxford and Mackenzie shows in the South Island were off, following the cancellation of the Methven, Flaxbourne, Auckland Royal Easter and Warkworth shows, the Waimarino and Waitomo shearing competitions, and the New Zealand Shears national shearing and woolhandling championships.

All have been cancelled as part of the measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. Other shows, which do not incorporate shearing competitions, have also been cancelled.

New Zealand Shears president Claire Grainger, of Te Kuiti, said the cancellation was in line with government guidelines around mass gatherings.

“It is with regret that we announce this decision, but the safety of everyone involved is our priority,” she said.

The cancellation leaves her organisation with a significant amount of work to do, in how it resolves matters with sponsors and competitors who had paid advance entry fees

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman David Fagan, also of Te Kuiti, said the planned New Zealand shearing team tour of the UK would not take place this year, and the selection events at Te Kuiti would not be held.

He cited as factors in the decision the restrictions on international travel and the likelihood that the pandemic would lead to cancellation of events in Britain, where at least one major show scheduled for May had already been postponed.

“The New Zealand Shears decision was expected in light of limitations on mass gatherings and other steps throughout New Zealand and internationally,” he said.

“There were the regulations, and it's morally the right thing to do.”