$5m deal to secure future of A&P Show

Christchurch City Council has rescued the New Zealand Agricultural Show with a $5 million agreement.

The council and the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association (CAPA) have both signed the agreement, which will open up more of Canterbury Agricultural Park for public use while helping to provide long-term certainty for the A&P Show.

CAPA had a 100-year lease on five hectares of council land at 141 Wigram Rd, which has been surrendered as part of the agreement. 

The council paid $5 million for the purchase of the remaining 95 years of the lease.

Council general manager citizens and community Andrew Rutledge said the agreement benefits both parties.  

"The A&P Show is such an important event for both the rural and local community, bringing people from around the country to our city," he said. 

"This agreement will support the future of the Show and the surrendering of the lease will allow us to use part of the land for additional sports fields in the south-west of the city.  

Photo: Star News
Photo: Star News
"There’s an increasing demand for recreational spaces in this part of the city due to the amount of residential development taking place. 

"Being able to use this land means we can deliver key long-term goals associated with our draft Sports Field Network Plan.”

A condition of the payment of $5 million is that CAPA uses $1 million to pay off its existing loan with the council.

Rutledge said the remaining $4 million will go to a newly established, capital protected charitable investment trust.  

The trust has three independent trustees – one appointed by CAPA, one by the Council and the third jointly appointed who will also be the Chair.

Rutledge said the agreement also reduces ongoing ratepayer subsidies for the Show. 

“The creation of a capital protected investment fund to be administered by the Trust will generate an ongoing revenue stream to support operational costs of running the show." 

The trust will begin operating in June 2024 and will provide the Council with annual updates on its financial position. 

The trust members are:

  • New Zealand Agricultural Show Investment Trust Council Appointed Trustee – Bob Shearing: Bob is a former Councillor (2004-2010), the current Chair of the Riccarton House and Bush Trust, Chair of the Hornby Community Care Trust, Chair of the Hapai Foundation, as well as a member of several other community organisations based in southwest Christchurch. 
  • CAPA trustee – Ben Tothill: Ben was a founding director when the CAPA board was first established 20 years ago. He is a lawyer who practises in commercial and trust law and was a former partner at Duncan Cotterill. Ben has also been a trustee on a number of not-for-profit organisations.
  • Jointly Appointed Trustee and Chair – Kate Acland: Kate is Chair of the New Zealand Meat Board, Deputy Chair of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, and a director of Rural Co. (Canterbury-based farmers’ co-operative). She and her husband own and operate Mt Somers Station in Mid Canterbury.