Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Rotorua's Agricultural Heritage

Rotorua Agricultural, Pastoral and Industrial Association.

This awesome association was formed out of  a suggestion and enthusiasm for all things farming and agricultural by Rotorua's Mr. T. H. Sloane in 1909, he was at that time a member of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce. The Association was duly formed and the first summer show was held in February 1910 at the Lake Front, then known as Marine Parade.  The first show was such a success they continued with annual summer shows moving to Arawa Park as the preferred location.

Their fourth show was rained out and it was decided after the committee meeting they did not have enough money to continue and Mr Sloane had to step in again and along with Mr J. Banks to re-energise local enthusiasm and competitive spirit. Thus in 1917 a summer show was successfully held.

In 1923 their first Winter Show was held and was successful enough that these shows also started being an annual event.   Excerpt from Don Stafford File "Rotorua Motor Transport Co. building had been available for the Winter Show Exhibition, but room was not there to provide space for efficient display of exhibits or to provide the amusement attractions necessary to draw public attendance"

In 1930 the Rotorua A&P Assn. ran a joint event with Dannevirke A&P Assn. to raise funds for a dedicated building for the summer and winter shows.  This was an 'Art Union' event. Following this Mr E. La Trobe Hill (Rotorua Architect) was given the go ahead to prepare plans & specifications for our new facility. This was built on Old Taupo Road and cost £2,900.

The A&P Grounds are between Uta Street and the Utuhina Stream.
This  copy of  the 1935 Map is owned by Rotorua Library, copyright belongs to Wises Maps.
Rotorua Library would welcome any memories and photographs of this site and shows held there.  Please Email : Library.HeritageandResearch@rotorualc.nz

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