A brief his­to­rya& Pas­so­ci­a­tions in New Zealand

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

The idea of Agri­cul­tural and Pas­toral As­so­ci­a­tions had their be­gin­nings back in Bri­tain in the 18th cen­tury so when Euro­pean set­tlers came to New Zealand, the ex­pec­ta­tion was that their new ‘home coun­try’ would have an agri­cul­tural fu­ture. As a re­sult, the first agri­cul­tural show was held in the Bay of Is­lands in 1842. A year later, the Agri­cul­tural and Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety of Auck­land was set up, print­ing a pam­phlet on farm­ing prospects in Auck­land, be­fore hold­ing its first show in 1843, with its sec­ond a mere two months later. Can­ter­bury held their first show on the banks of the Ran­gi­tata River in 1859, and the A & P So­ci­ety was es­tab­lished in 1863. By the 1870s, some as­so­ci­a­tions were hold­ing an­nual shows, and from then, un­til World War I, at least one A & P So­ci­ety was set up each year. In 1884 in South­land, shows were held at River­ton, Gore, Wyn­d­ham and In­ver­cargill, and by the 1950s, there were over 100 shows held in New Zealand ev­ery year. The early A & P So­ci­eties pro­moted farm im­prove­ment in many ways, with lec­tures about the lat­est sheep breeds, writ­ing let­ters about vet short­ages and rab­bit con­trols and pub­lish­ing pam­phlets about the best crops for lo­cal con­di­tions amongst their role. They also held ram fairs and horse pa­rades. At first, shows were com­pe­ti­tions fea­tur­ing farm an­i­mals and crops, de­signed to demon­strate ex­cel­lence and pro­mote good breed­ing, although later they in­cluded other com­pe­ti­tion and at­trac­tions such as shear­ing, wood chop­ping, horse rid­ing, dis­plays of farm ma­chin­ery and do­mes­tic crafts, sideshows and en­ter­tain­ments in the show ring. As shows be­came es­tab­lished they needed per­ma­nent homes, and in 1877, Par­lia­ment gave A & P As­so­ci­a­tions pro­tec­tion as In­cor­po­rated So­ci­eties, with most ac­quir­ing show­grounds within their first decade of ex­is­tence. In sub­se­quent years, these grounds were of­ten leased out for other events. The Gore A & P Show­grounds is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of this with the grounds and nu­mer­ous build­ings on site avail­able for events and meet­ings. 1924 be­came a mile­stone year for all A & P so­ci­eties when the Royal Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety was formed to be­come the um­brella body for the A & P As­so­ci­a­tions and be­stowed the name ‘‘Royal’’ on a dif­fer­ent show each year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.