First it was M. bovis, then the threat of wild weather – but even severe water restrictions and a region-wide drought haven't put a damper on the Kaitaia A&P show.
Organisers have confirmed the popular show – which attracts 2500 people each year - is still going ahead this weekend despite record drought conditions taking a toll on Northland. Level 4 water restrictions are in place in Kaitaia and Kaikohe.
Trade exhibitors organiser Bronnie Travers said "drastic measures" have been taken to reduce water use at the A & P Showgrounds on South Rd on February 21 and 22.
These include asking competitors to bring their own water for the approximately 200 animals, mainly horses, sheep and cows which will be on site.
Organisers were also bringing in water from their farms to wash cows for the livestock, beef and dairy classes.
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At least two, 1000-litre pods would be set up for this, she said.
"There will be no washing of animals on town supply, it's all being brought in.
"It's the first time we've had to take drastic measures since the show started in 1886 and we've only had to call it off a couple of times due to heavy rain."
The show is held every year, over the last weekend in February. Last year it continued with its dairy and beef cattle classes after most other shows around the country ditched them due to fears of spreading Mycoplasma bovis. Forecasters also predicted heavy rain – but the show still went ahead.
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Show secretary Denise Finlayson was also bringing in a tank of water from her farm.
Hand sanitiser would be provided in the toilets on site, she said.
"We've told everyone with cows and horses to bring their own water for washing and drinking.
"We don't use a lot of water anyway, mostly for washing cows, and we're bringing our own water in. We're very aware of water restrictions so we're making plans."
Meanwhile Far North District Council has imposed further level 4 water restrictions on Paihia-Opua-Waitangi and Kawakawa-Moerewa, restricting water use to essential drinking, cooking and washing.
This is due to declining water flows in the Waitangi River, which feeds the Paihia-Opua-Waitangi water supply, and in the Kawakawa-Moerewa water source. Levels in the Tirohanga Stream are the most serious.
General manager infrastructure and asset management Andy Finch said the restrictions reflect how critical the drought is becoming.
"We are aware water restrictions place a burden on households and businesses, but if we want to get through this drought without more significant interruption, we need everyone to immediately reduce water consumption by at least 25 per cent."
Water restrictions have also been widened further north, after the Awanui river reached a record low.
Northland Regional Council has introduced a water shortage direction for the entire Awanui River catchment.
The direction impacts on those who have consents to take water from the river and those who can normally take smaller quantities of water without consent. It will last for two weeks.
"In other words, we're restricting water to essential use only," NRC water and waste monitoring manager Ali McHugh said.
"This includes people who have resource consent to take water for irrigation from the river."
The water shortage directions restrict water use from both surface and groundwater sources to "reasonable household domestic needs and stock welfare needs".
Water cannot be taken for irrigation and garden watering during the 14-day ban, and car washing, water blasting, and filling swimming and spa pools are also out.
"We will review the situation after the 14 days is up and it's likely that further water shortage directions will be issued if no significant rain has fallen in the catchment of the river," McHugh said.
"We will monitor water use; and those found using non-essential water such as for filling swimming pools, washing boats and irrigation, may find themselves facing enforcement action."
Dargaville also has level 4 water restrictions in place and while there are no such restrictions in place in Whangārei, the Whangārei District Council has asked residents to make 20 per cent water savings to delay restrictions being imposed.