A&P show president giving up reins after three years

Mike Tapley
Mike Tapley
Duvauchelle A&P Show president Mike Tapley is looking forward to next month's centennial show, after three years in the role.

The 100th show, on Saturday, January 11, will be his last in charge, Mr Tapley says.

''This is my third year, so it has taken up a huge amount of time.

''We have done some serious fundraising in the last two years, because like many small shows we were struggling financially, and when we knew the 100th was coming up, we knew we needed to prepare for it.''

Mr Tapley has lived in Pigeon Bay on Banks Peninsula for most of his life. He moved there with his parents when he was aged about 10 and first became involved in the Duvauchelle show in the 1970s.

His father, Tony Tapley, was a sheep farmer, but the farm was sold in the late 1980s. However, Mr Tapley chose to remain in Pigeon Bay with his wife Penny and raise their two daughters on the peninsula.

They have 40ha, where they raise dairy heifers for replacements and Mrs Tapley breeds a few horses. ''It used to be strong dairying country on the peninsula.

There used to be a dairy factory in almost every bay. Now there is just Barrys Bay. ''Most farms on the peninsula had their own dairy and they would run other stock. Today there are still a few dairy farms.''

Mr Tapley's day job is as a forestry contractor, specialising in native replantings, and he has a team working around Lake Ellesmere.

He started off in 1992, working with exotic trees, and has spent three months a year working in Australia for the past seven years doing pruning work.

Daughters Madeleine (18) and Florence (14) attend high school in Christchurch and are competitive show jumpers.

By David Hill.