Two big Hawke's Bay events have been upended within 12 hours of each other, both citing the risks and uncertainty posed by the Delta variant of Covid-19.
The 2021 Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show has been cancelled and the Summer Food and Wine Classic (FAWC) has been postponed until January 28 – February 6, 2022.
The show was to have been held in Waipukurau on November 11-13 but president David Poulton said the decision to cancel was made at a meeting last night because of the continuing uncertainty, with just five weeks to go, of what sort of show could take place amid the Covid-19 crisis.
While the safety factors were the ultimate consideration, the financial factors were coming into play with the increasing likelihood that if the show went ahead it would be without public admission.
The loss of gate income could potentially have meant running at a loss and affecting the viability of the organisation and the future of the show.
The decision completes a cancellation of all five pre-Christmas A and P shows in the eastern and lower regions of the North Island, all of which have histories dating back well over a century.
Previously cancelled were the Poverty Bay, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa shows, which were to have been held this month, and the Manawatu and West Coast show which was to have been held in early November. The Wairarapa and Manawatu shows were also cancelled last year.
Two other A and P shows are still scheduled for Hawke's Bay in the New Year, with the Wairoa A and P show scheduled for January 14-15 and the Dannevirke A and P Show on February 3-5.
Due to the risks posed by the Delta variant of Covid-19, Summer F.A.W.C! has had to reschedule its annual degustation of the local scene of food and wine.
The decision to postpone the November event until January 28 – February 6, 2022 was made by the Board of Hawke's Bay Tourism, after seeking consultation from hospitality, event and food and wine industries.
Hawke's Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton said, "After consulting with our members, it was decided that F.A.W.C! could have real value during late January, when visitation traditionally quietened down ahead of school starting back."
With the prolonged Auckland lockdown and new Covid cases surfacing throughout the North Island, Hawke's Bay Tourism decided to postpone the event in order to include visitors from beyond the region and to ensure public safety.
"We also hope that by January there will be further certainty and stability for the events industry as a whole.
"The Government has signalled that vaccine passports could be required for future events, and this would certainly act as an added layer of security once the entire country is allowed to travel freely once again," Saxton said.
For ticket holders who cannot attend the rescheduled F.A.W.C! date, their tickets will be refunded by event organisers.