Thursday, April 18, 2024

Christchurch council props up NZ Agricultural show with $1m loan

Christchurch City Council will provide the organisers of the popular New Zealand Agricultural Show with a prudent financial safety net.

It has approved a loan of up to $1 million for the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association (CAPA) so that it can meet its ongoing financial obligations if this year’s New Zealand Agricultural Show – formerly the Canterbury A&P Show – has to be cancelled due to a COVID-19 lockdown or change in alert levels.

“The Show did not go ahead last year because of the pandemic, but the CAPA Board have decided to proceed with this year’s event,’’ says Deputy Mayor, Councillor Andrew Turner.

“There is considerable risk associated with planning a major event during a pandemic and the Board is concerned that if COVID-19 forces the cancellation of this year’s Show, they would incur a substantial financial loss that could ultimately lead the organisation into voluntary liquidation.

“To help alleviate that financial stress, the Council has approved a loan of up to $1 million which CAPA can draw down on if the show has to be cancelled. The loan means that CAPA will be able to meet its financial obligations without the spectre of liquidation,’’ Cr Turner said.

He said the New Zealand Agricultural Show had a proud history that dated back 157 years.

“We want to give the organisers confidence that they can proceed with this year’s show because it is a fixture on Christchurch’s calendar that many people across the region really enjoy and look forward to each November.’’

Should the loan be required, it will be funded through borrowing, he said.

“It will have no impact on rates as the interest CAPA will have to pay on the loan will cover the Council’s borrowing costs.”

To minimise any financial risk to the Council, the loan will also be secured against land and buildings that CAPA owns next to the Canterbury Agricultural Park in Curletts Road.

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