125 years of agricultural & pastoral tradition
Around the turn of the 19th Century rural areas and towns in New Zealand were establishing annual events that promoted farming pursuits and -almost without exception- organised by Agricultural and Pastoral (A&P) Associations. These shows were designed for the improvement and betterment of stock and gave locals a chance to compare their animals with others and to also promote the value of their animal as breeding stock. It also enabled the local ladies to demonstrate their abilities in kitchen skills, gardeners to show green thumbs, and amateurs to share their dairy produce.
A&P Associations were also keen to encourage better use of machinery on farms, so a practice of exhibiting the latest agricultural implements began early. Machinery in motion always attracted interest, especially if it made some noise. Shows contributed significantly to the uptake of technology on New Zealand farms, and this is still seen today with the latest and greatest always on display. Over the years changes in social, farming, and cultural aspects of New Zealand society can be seen reflected in the different classes or sections offered at the show.