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Council takes over Tōmoana Showgrounds, planning for future starts


From left Hawke’s Bay A&P Society general manager Elisha Milmine, A&P Society’s Simon Collins, Waipatu Marae’s Waiora Rogers, Horse of the Year chair Tim Aitken, Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, Horse of the Year’s Sophie Blake and A&P Society president

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 for decades to come,” 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.”

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 setting out the establishment of a trust, how we look after the Tōmoana Showgrounds, creating opportunities for more events, and improving the facilities.”

Once there is more certainty around how long Civil Defence will need the site, people who have expressed interest in booking the venue will be contacted and future bookings will start being taken.

The connection with the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society will remain strong, which has representation on the trust along with mana whenua and Council.

Waipatu Marae representative Waiora Rogers said it was an exciting new chapter for the area.

“Being right on our doorstep, it will enhance our relationships with the other stakeholders to be included on this trust as we look to the future of this area.”

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

31 March 2023

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