New Zealand Cup and Show week was previewed in Christchurch yesterday with a business breakfast to celebrate the annual event's influence in the Canterbury region.
Guests from around New Zealand attended the event, hosted at Christchurch Casino by the Christchurch City Council in partnership with NZME.
Guest speakers included cricket great Stephen Fleming, New Zealand champion harness racer Dexter Dunn, Ben Tothill from Canterbury A&P show, Melodie McColl of Melodie M makeup and Tim Hunter from Christchurch and Canterbury tourism.
Hunter spoke about the benefits the event has had for Christchurch's economy, saying the week was estimated to bring in about $16 million.
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He also talked about the growth of the region and the positive stage of the rebuild, with businesses returning to the CBD and record numbers of bars and cafes.
The keynote speech for the morning was by TAB spokesman and media manager at the New Zealand Racing Board Mark Stafford, who entertained guests with anecdotes on match fixing and how to prevent it.
Fleming attended the event as an ambassador for golf, which has been added to the weekly line-up of activities, saying that he had always been a "golfer trapped in a cricketer's body".
Cup and Show week includes the Christchurch Casino NZ Cup and New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday, November 14.