It isn't the biggest event of its kind, but the Broadwood showgrounds are arguably the prettiest to be found anywhere, and the North Hokianga A&P Association continues to keep alive traditions that go back for more than a century.

Saturday's 106th show didn't, unfortunately, maintain the reputation that the event once had as a reliable drought-breaker, but there was a cool breeze and plenty to see, from some accomplished equestrians to shearing and chopping, and a hall where the classes probably haven't changed in generations but unfailingly produce some fine exhibits.

The fruit and vegetable entries were especially impressive this year, despite the challenges many gardeners must have faced as the long hot summer hammered their produce, while a North Hokianga special, chainsaw carving, attracted just the one participant, Kohukohu beef farmer Neil Matheson.

He drew inspiration from all sorts of sources, he said, his 2020 creation carved from a slab of macrocarpa being a "spiral thingee".


On the showgrounds proper, Sandra Davidson and Justin Robb had their Precast Products troughs on display, for anyone who thought troughs had ceased evolving once someone worked out that they should be round or oblong and could be made from concrete.

Potential buyers were showing plenty of interest, following a similarly positive response at the Kaikohe show a little earlier in the season.

All that was missing were the dairy and beef sections, sidelined for the second year in a row as a contribution to curbing the spread of Mycoplasma bovis. The association said in its schedule that the decision had not been taken lightly, and it greatly appreciated the support received in the past from competitors, exhibitors, sponsors and the public.

"However, given the risk Mycoplasma bovis poses, we needed to take a strong position and support the endeavours of MPI to control and eradicate the disease," it added.

"A core part of our show is to show support for the agricultural aspects of our community."

Beef and dairy cattle will be in display at Kaitaia's show on Saturday.