Harvest Home halted

The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) has announced the Harvest Home event, held annually at Totara Estate south of Oamaru since 2004, will not be held this year as it is not economically viable.

NZHPT heritage destinations manager Paul McGahan said his organisation could no longer afford to absorb the costs of running the event, which had only once returned a profit.

"Unfortunately it's the reality of the current economic environment," he said.

"Getting sponsorship has been challenging and it has come to the point where we have had to give financial priority to other areas such as property maintenance and addressing increased insurance costs."

Mr McGahan said he preferred not to publicly divulge the extent of the losses, which were in the "lower end of the thousands", and added the trust's budget had not increased in the past three years.

Harvest Home had been held in high regard by the wider community that visited Totara Estate, 8km south of Oamaru, and also Clark's Flour Mill, he said.

"As part of that visitor experience to these fantastic heritage places, the NZHPT was happy to make a day for the family to be able to enjoy. With acts like the Topp Twins and Tami Neilson in recent years, it really made for a fun day out."

Mr McGahan stressed the trust was putting the initiative on hold, and the event would be "quite easy to resurrect".

- ben.guild@odt.co.nz


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