Auckland International Flower Show delayed another year

By James Pasley

Prize-winning exhibitor Xanthe White believes gardeners will be happy to wait until November next year. Photo / Oamaru Mail
Prize-winning exhibitor Xanthe White believes gardeners will be happy to wait until November next year. Photo / Oamaru Mail

Flower and garden enthusiasts will have to wait another year before the Ellerslie International Flower Show has a replacement in Auckland.

The New Zealand Flowers and Garden Show, originally planned for November this year, will now be held in November next year.

The event was to be the first international flower show in Auckland since the Ellerslie International Flower Show moved to Christchurch in 2008, after the Auckland City Council pulled back from making a $50,000 contribution to keep the show in the region.

At the time, then Mayor of Manukau Len Brown warned, "More than 50 per cent of visitors to the show live in the Auckland region and having it remain in Manukau is key."

A week after the Ellerslie flower show packed up, plans were formed to hold a bigger show at the botanical gardens, but failed to develop any further.

Eight years on, planners going through the application process for the new event discovered it triggered several clauses in the Reserve Board Act which require a longer period before the application can be approved.

"We were reluctant to postpone the event, [but] it's essential that we get it right," said Kate Hillier, director of the New Zealand Flowers and Garden Show.

One possible contributor to the show, Xanthe White, believes the delay doesn't have to be a bad thing.

"We're all gardeners so we're all pretty patient, and there's nothing wrong with waiting a little longer if it's going to be even better.

"Sometimes you have to wait seven years for a tree to flower."

At the time the Ellerslie Flower Show moved to Christchurch, it was drawing 65,000 visitors in Auckland. After the move the show was cancelled in 2014.

The New Zealand Flowers and Garden Show will now run from November 22, 2017, at Okahu Bay and Bastion Pt.

- NZ Herald

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