Friday, 14 June 2019

The Winter Show : Rotorua Agricultural & Pastoral Association


 The A&P Winter Show c.1923-c.1966

The first Rotorua Winter Show is recorded as being in 1923 just before the successful Auckland Winter Show, and was modeled on the 1922 Auckland Show. 

In 1927 the Summer Show was dropped in favour of the Winter Show as this was more popular. The winter shows were held in a garage owned by the Rotorua Motor Transport Co.

The Ritz Hall built c.1935 for the A&P Shows was rented out in between shows.

The Ritz was taken over by the RNZAF in 1942 as a training venue (and for dances) and handed back to the Association in 1946, and the Association ran its Winter Show again for the first time since 1941.

c.1930’s the Association bought a section of some 30 acres on Old Taupo Road which ran between Uta Street and the Utuhina Stream. 

At some point prior to the 1962 document shown here, the Summer Show’s began again.

Unfortunately on New Year’s Eve of 1962 a fire destroyed the main hall of the ‘Ritz’. The Associations insurance company was quick to pay out and the hall was rebuilt with improvements and a geothermal bore was installed to supply hot water, but the heating component for the hall was delayed until funding could be found. The heating was installed in c1963 to the three halls owned by the Association.  In 1964 there was some discussion around the revenue from the rental of each hall as the Association required the use of all venues for the Winter Show and the annual one day Summer Show. 

Rotorua A&P Association Inc. Annual Report for the year ended 31 Dec 1962

By 1964 the Rotorua Photo News had begun publishing photos from the Winter Shows. As seen below the show included a range of events not seen today. 

Rotorua Photo News 1 Aug 1964 pg 30

A Beatles Impersonation Competition proved very popular...

Rotorua Photo News 1 Aug 1964 pg's 31-32

The Winter Show was held again in 1965, 1966 and 1969. Beyond 1969, the winter show no longer features as an event in the annual reports of the Association.  As shown below there was some concern about the financial state of the Association in 1966. The Association took possession of a new property at Ngongotaha on the 1st June 1968 and the 1969 Summer Show was held there with much success.  This property was called Riverdale Park and a portion of this park is still in use today for the A&P Shows every Auckland Anniversary weekend. The Ritz Hall was sold in 1980.


A programme that was printed by Rotorua A&P Assoc. 
This Post was written by Alison, with thanks to the Don Stafford Collection and Norma Evans collection and Rotorua Photo News held by the Library.


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