Hopes Ashburton show can go ahead in October

Peter Stewart has just 10 years’ service under his belt as Ashburton A&P association member and, as newly installed president, admits he is a relative newcomer to the group.

The vast majority on the committee have been there for many years, or have family connections going back generations, he said.

"We've got a really good committee. A good skill set in a lot of people," he said.

It includes 10 past presidents among the 31 committee members.

"I'm the baby of the group," he jokes.

Mr Stewart, who lives in urban Ashburton, has been in the district since 2000 working in the agricultural industry, including as PGG store labourer, doing tasks such as seed dressing and serving customers.

He took early retirement, which was when he started going to association committee meetings, and now the 68-year-old has a domestic travel bucket list he is working through.

He has been to the top of the North Island at Cape Reinga and the southern most point of the mainland at Slope Point.

He has also been to Stewart Island and is planning a trip to the Coromandel with a tour group later this year.

He is a keen mountain biker but also owns an e-bike and meets with other enthusiasts to explore the trails close to home. He has also ridden the West Coast Wilderness Trail and the Otago Central Rail Trail with guided tour groups.

Mr Stewart is hopeful the annual spring show in late October will go ahead in its usual format, but it will depend on Covid-19 restrictions and the response from site holders and competitors.

He is also hopeful that by October people will be out and enjoying some financial activity.

He has chosen Technology in Agriculture as the theme for the show, which had a broad spectrum and covered a lot of new innovations in the agricultural sector.

"I hope people will come on board," he said.

The call on how the show would be run will be made in early September.

Organisers of the Tux dog trials had already expressed an interest to go ahead, if need be in a separate event, and it could be possible for other events to also go ahead too, especially events which were part of a competition circuit like shearing, equestrian events or highland dancing.


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