The New Zealand National Fieldays Society has postponed the Fieldays 2020 event scheduled for June 10-13 this year in a bid to do its part to curb the spread of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, in New Zealand.
As of late-March, a new event date for Fieldays 2020 had not been offered.
New Zealand National Fieldays Society CEO Peter Nation says the move was made swiftly on March 17 after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement regarding the cancellation of large gatherings to prohibit the spread of COVID-19.
“The society stands by the Government’s decision to cancel events that draw crowds of more than 500 in order to stall the spread of COVID-19,” says Peter.
“We value our loyal stakeholders, including the many exhibitors, suppliers, volunteers, visitors, staff and their extended family, immensely.
“The whole event is about them. Their health and safety is of utmost importance to us and we take the government’s decision seriously.”
But Fieldays remains a central part of the New Zealand agricultural community and calendar, says Peter. “It’s a chance for friends to catch up, local and global businesses to network, cutting edge innovations are out on show and education is at the heart of the event’s delivery.
“The world may be undergoing major challenges in response to COVID-19, but in this changing environment Fieldays will remain, albeit at a later date.”
Fieldays – which is set to host its 52nd event this year – is based on a 114-hectare site at Mystery Creek, which is 10 minutes from Hamilton and is the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.
Fieldays draws people from around the globe – both as exhibitors and visitors. Fieldays 2019 saw 128,747 people visit the event, generating $549 million in sales revenue for New Zealand businesses.
Fieldays is run by New Zealand National Fieldays Society, a charitable organisation founded in 1968 for the purpose of advancing primary industry.
The 2019 Fieldays Economic Impact Report, conducted by Dr Warren Hughes of the New Zealand Institute for Business Research at the University of Waikato and released last November, states $549 million in sales revenue for New Zealand firms was generated by the 2019 event with $183m going into the Waikato region alone.
This was a national sales revenue increase of more than $50m from 2018’s figures. And, based on the official event attendance figures for 2019 of 128,747, it was calculated that each person though the gate contributes around $4200 to the economy.
The report also states more than 2000 full-year jobs had been sustained in the New Zealand economy from the 2019 event with almost 900 jobs sustained specifically in the Waikato region.
Another figure from the report was $247m of additional GDP was generated for the NZ economy, which is an increase of $21m from 2018. And $80m was also added to Waikato’s GDP.
The report also estimates the brand value of Fieldays as being at $610m following the 2019 event, an increase of $122m following the 2018 event. For more information on Fieldays, see: www.fieldays.co.nz