Wairoa will get a rare official Government ministerial visit when Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor is in town for the 5th East Coast Farming Expo on February 26-27.
But O'Connor, who was also at the Royal New Zealand Show in Hastings in October, won't be the only MP in town as the politerati line up to start taking battle to the provinces and the rural sector ahead of a General Election later this year on a date yet to be announced.
First-term Opposition National Tukituki electorate MP, former Mayor of Hastings and former farmer Lawrence Yule will also be at the expo, as part of a discussion panel at popular opening-day feature the Bayleys Muster.
Originally following Feilding's Central Districts FieldDays when first held in the second week of April 2016, the expo has maintained loyalty despite some disruption at the hands of the weather.
Staged by the Wairoa Community Development Trust and held at the Wairoa A and P Showgrounds, it is now saddled between the town's show (on Friday and Saturday) and the CD FieldDays (March 19-21).
Expo event manager Sue Wilson says the expo will provide two days of exhibits and seminars, giving East Coast and Hawke's Bay farming communities the opportunity to interact face-to-face with industry innovators and experts.
"If you're an East Coast/Hawke's Bay farmer looking for the solutions to keep your business moving forward, or an agricultural innovator wanting to spread your message, this event is perfect," she says.
"There are huge opportunities for technology uptake, especially in sheep and beef farming, and we're extremely excited about the expo's potential and being able to host it in our community."
She says it's an ideal opportunity for trade exhibitors to launch new products and release new research and technology, straight to a target audience.
Event director and former A and P society president Dave Martin says he's excited to provide the opportunity for national businesses and East Coast farmers to mix at the expo.
"The support from exhibitors to hold the event again was amazing and provided the motivation for the show to go on," he says.
"It just shows how important the event is to businesses and farmers alike."
The seminar line-up will be a real feature, he says, with it providing excellent speakers and inspiring topics, along with the Bayleys Muster, which be themed Rural Communities — Change and Resilience.
For more information, and to book trade exhibit sites, go to www.eastcoastexpo.co.nz.