Boat show latest Covid-19 virus victim

Boat show latest Covid-19 virus victim

The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, which was to be held on May 14-17 in Auckland has, for the first time in it's 65 year history, been postponed.

The country’s longest running and biggest boat show was first hosted at what is now the ASB Showgounds in Greenlane, Auckland in 1956 and has been held at that venue every year since. In 2019, it attracted over 37,000 keen boaties and fishers from all over New Zealand and from overseas.

Following the Government’s announcement yesterday that large gatherings without allocated seating should not go ahead, the 2020 show has now been postponed, hopefully until later in the year.

“While we understand and fully support the Government’s decision on gatherings with more than 500 people, we also know that the decision will, sadly, have a big effect on our exhibitors and the New Zealand marine industry,” says general manager Dave Gibbs.

“Most of the boatbuilders that showcase their new models annually at our show come from all over the country,” he says. “Many are based in our smaller cities like Napier and Invercargill and in rural towns such as Kawerau, Whakatane and Milton, where they are often one of the area’s major employers.

“The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show is one of the main generators of sales for their business. Every year, they rely on the show to provide the orders that keep their staff busy during the otherwise slow winter months.”

Dave Gibbs says organisers are hopeful of rescheduling the show later this year.

“We are already in discussions with the ASB Showgrounds, our suppliers and our exhibitors, and, if there is any way we can safely run the show later this year, we will.”

He says people who have already bought tickets to the 2020 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show should retain these as they will remain valid for the rescheduled show.

- Grant Dixon

17 March 2020

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