The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, which was to be held on May 14-17 in Auckland and which is the country’s longest-running and largest boat show, will, for the first time in its 65-year history, be postponed.
The show, which was first run at what is now the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane, Auckland in 1956, 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 that large gatherings without allocated seating should not go ahead, 2020 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.
Organisers have also confirmed the 2020 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show will be postponed to later in the year. The announcement comes in light of the continued escalation of Covid-19 cases and government directives on gatherings of more than 500 people.
The health and safety of our teams, exhibitors and event attendees are the number one priority, and our team will endeavour to ensure minimal disruption to all those invested in this year’s show.
The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show organisers say they will be working closely with exhibitors and stakeholders to deliver another world-class event at a later date safely.