Hawke's Bay A&P Society is asset rich and cash poor so it's absolutely right to consider developing its land into housing.
It needs to do something. A&P Societies around the country have become outdated in 2021, and are finding themselves asset rich, cash poor and bereft of income as events get cancelled.
The current proposal from private developers might not be the way to go though.
The society's conundrum reflects the societal change we've undergone, and no longer do large crowds gather to admire and reflect upon our agricultural and pastoral success.
Yes, it is sad, but that's life, that's change.
The demand for housing has also changed - this country's housing system worked fine for a population of around three million. But it is not fit for purpose for 2021.
Consider for a moment, what trouble we would be in if we were not in the grips of a pandemic, and motels had tourists in them.
We would be far, far up the Tukituki without a paddle.
As it stands, we are desperate for housing, and desperate for land.
And the A&P Society is in possession of millions of dollars worth of land, along with a large dilapidated grandstand in desperate need of a tidy-up, or demolition.
The society is an obvious target, given it has also lost income from events such as New Zealand's Horse of the Year.
The 40-hectare showgrounds were originally purchased from William Nelson in 1911 and have been home to the Hawke's Bay A&P Society ever since.
A&P Society general manager Sally Jackson describes the current state of play as ''beyond early'' in terms of seeking feedback from the A&P committee.
Jackson was reluctant to talk further, but said approaches to develop the showgrounds were common.
Apple grower John Bostock, a member of Save Our Fertile Soils Society, was approached by the A&P Society and developers for his support, but he reckons selling to developers is an ''incredibly short-sighted" idea.
Leading grower and fellow Save the Plains Campaigner Paul Paynter thinks the idea is "ludicrous".
The showgrounds are not designated in the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development strategy for housing, and no one has applied to develop the land.
Other than that, the Hastings District Council isn't saying much, which usually means it knows a lot more than it is prepared to let on, for now.
As growers, Bostock and Paynter are firmly in the pro-production camp, and part of a wider group fighting to stop development of the Heretaunga Plains.
There is an obvious bias or vested interest in a grower stopping residential development on fertile soil - it opens up the opportunity for further industry development.
Economically, it's more beneficial for the region in the long run.
But it doesn't do much for the region's housing shortage.
Or for the A&P Society, which owns a property that reflects wealth on paper and little else.
If the land was to be sold, it would seem Hastings District Council would be the logical "developer", with less of an eye on profit and more of a focus on social outcomes for the district.
And if the sale was sizeable enough, the money could be invested in a consolidated fund and fed back into Hastings agricultural and pastoral community through grants, so that the land stops "giving" publicly, but its wealth is capitalised on for the benefit of the region.
Alternatively, the A&P Society could lease the land to apple growers if it decided that was more in keeping with its original kaupapa.
Either way, spare a thought for the A&P Society.
The country's housing system is not the only thing that is longer fit for purpose - the roles and operations of A&P Societies around the country are outdated.
The current proposal gives the society an opportunity to ask itself what a modern A&P Society looks like.
But selling land to developers won't fix its problems.