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Council takes over Tōmoana Showgrounds, site to be used for cyclone response

Army at Showgrounds

Hastings District Council will take over ownership of 40ha of Tōmoana Showgrounds on April 1, 2023, as the site continues to be used as a distribution hub for the Cyclone Gabrielle response.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the sale of the showgrounds, consulted on in April 2022, means iconic events will continue, with opportunities for more.

“This is fantastic for our community, knowing that events like the A&P Show, weekly Farmers’ Market, Horse of the Year, concerts and more can continue using this beautiful site,” she said.

“When we take over the showgrounds, it will still be used by Civil Defence as a distribution hub, and we fully support them to use the space to meet the needs of the community for as long as the need is out there.”

The Farmers’ Market had temporarily shifted to Civic Square, but was set to return to the Showgrounds this month.

Once the response has been stood down, Council will work towards the showgrounds being vested as a reserve, which will protect it for the community forever.

“Working with the community, we’ll then begin developing a Reserve Management Plan, a trust will be established, we will be considering how we look after the Tōmoana Showgrounds, such as creating opportunities for more events, and improving the facilities for future use.”

The connection with the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society would remain strong, with representation on the managing entity of the site.

Hawke’s Bay A&P Society president Paul Beamish said they were excited to be in partnership with Council.

“From April 1, Council will own 40 hectares of the Tōmoana Showgrounds and we will retain 2.8 hectares.

“The partnership will allow us to continue promoting our primary sector to a wide audience with our flagship events on the Tōmoana Showgrounds, as they have been for many years now.”  

Farmers’ Market’s short-term move to Civic Square

The Farmers’ Market set up shop in Civic Square following Cyclone Gabrielle while the Tōmoana Showgrounds were used for the emergency response.

Market manager Loren Crossan said it had been a great success.

“We enjoyed the change, which brought new visitors in and were blown away by the number of people visiting the market.

“Seeing the crowds and all the dogs was pretty cool– a few of our stalls even sold out with so much demand.

“The atmosphere was awesome, but there wasn’t quite enough room for all our stalls so we are looking forward to being back to our full size when we get home.”

31 March 2023

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