The New Zealand Agricultural Show will not go ahead in 2020, the first time the event has been cancelled since World War II.

The Canterbury A&P Show Association announced the decision today, thanking its members for being "guardians of the show for 157 years".

There was financial uncertainty to the event due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the association said in a press release.

"If we continued to prepare for the show and find out the month before we are unable to run, then the association would be bankrupted".

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"It is with this in mind that the Event Management Team, General Committee and the Board had to finalise a decision, sacrificing this year's show to shore up its future."

The association said its first objective as a charity was to protect its financial position "at all costs" to ensure the show could continue "to bring generations together well into the future".

Watch the 2020 New Zealand Agricultural Show "Show Saviour" video below:

So far the association had reduced event management fees by over 75 per cent and "scaled back the operation to ensure we avoid bankruptcy", but it had not been enough.

"Unfortunately, this does not insulate us from the significant loss we have already experienced due to the fact we will not have a revenue from a 2020 show to cover the work done between December 2019 and May 2020".

The Association was asking for financial support to re-launch in 2021 from "those who have a connection to the show".

"The future of the show is not out of the woods yet and, with a significantly reduced show team, we are today launching a Show Saviour campaign to our sponsors, trade exhibitors and the public".

Listen to Jamie Mackay interview event director Geoff Bone about the NZ Agricultural Show on The Country below:

How to support the New Zealand Agricultural Show:

• Promote the Show Saviour video and donation page on social media, or through word of mouth etc.

• Continue to pay membership subscriptions in 2020.

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• Donate, no matter how big or small, at the donation page.