Moo, baa, oink ... the traditional sounds and smells of the time-honoured Levin farm animal sale return at a new venue next week.
The annual Tuesday stock sale was an institution to rural New Zealand but faced uncertainty earlier this year when its traditional base on Cambridge Street South was sold to make way for a new transport hub.
Many provincial New Zealand stock sales had fallen by the wayside and similar venues at Raetihi, Taihape, Patanui and Apiti had all closed in recent years.
But there was a genuine desire to keep the Levin sale going. In a vote of confidence for local stock traders, a new venue has taken shape at Levin Showgrounds, with access from Tiro Tiro Road.
Carrfields livestock representative and auctioneer David Haworth said Carrfields financed materials to build the new yards, complete with a raised viewing platform running behind the yards, once resource consent was granted from Horowhenua District Council.
"We were only held back by Covid-19," he said.
With the support of landowners Horowhenua AP&I Society and the hard work of its members in holding working bees, the yards quickly took shape.
Haworth said while there were only 90 cattle entered next Tuesday, among normal yarding of sheep and calves, he expected the sale to grow in number in the coming months.
The final sale at the old stockyards on Cambridge Street South, which have since been demolished, was on Tuesday, December 17, last year.
Haworth said the Levin sale was viable and filled a void for a rural community that wanted to continue to trade their stock locally, and could also cater to the lifestyle farmer.
"There is most certainly a need for it here. It's crucial that we continue," he said.
"People like to see an auction, and you like to see the cattle you're buying."
Haworth said a stock sale was provided a meeting place on a social level, too.
"It's an essential part of the rural framework," he said.