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Cancelled: Wairoa A&P Show joins Covid casualty list

The 2022 Wairoa A&P Show has been cancelled because of the continuing Covid-19 crisis.

The show was to have been held from January 13 to 15 but faced with needing to know well ahead of the Christmas-New Year break if the show would go on, the decision to cancel it was made at a meeting on Sunday.

Show manager Laura Hooper said there were many mitigating factors.

“However, the overriding reasons came down to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 restrictions, the possible implications of opening the Auckland border and the fact we are dealing with the highly transmissible Delta strain,” Ms Hooper said.

“Although not an easy decision to make, we all feel it is absolutely the best conclusion for the current situation.

“Our grounds are vast and there are many entry points, not all of them officially manned. Because of this we would be unable to guarantee a 100 percent fully-vaccinated audience, despite our best efforts, and therefore it is for the good of everyone that we cancel the show.”

As with some other cancelled shows throughout the country, there is still the possibility of a jumping show going ahead.

Organisers are sorting through the rules and regulations with governing bodies before this can be confirmed.

Shearing competition organisers who were unable to be at Sunday's meeting because of work in the woolshed, and who have in recent years run the biggest shearing-only shearing sports event in the North Island, are considering options.

Twice in the last decade they have switched at short notice to woolsheds outside the town because of heavy rain flooding the showgrounds.

“The Wairoa A&P Show has been a highlight in the community for over 100 years and while we are crushed not to be running this fabulous event, the health and wellbeing of our community, especially our most vulnerable tamariki, is paramount,” Ms Hooper said.

“Planning a show takes many months of hard work, dedication and commitment, so organisers and committee members are naturally disappointed.”

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little, a former A&P Show president, said it was a “sad day” and a “shame” for a community which had already lost its other major annual event — the Wairoa races — due to a restructure of racing throughout the country.

“I wonder what will be next to hit the smaller towns,” Mr Little said.

The Wairoa A&P Show joins the list of shows cancelled on the east coast of the North Island this summer, including the Poverty Bay A&P Show, which was scheduled for October, and Hawke's Bay and Central Hawke's Bay shows.

Illustration of the coronavirus. File picture