Shearing and woolhandling competitions hit hard by pandemic restrictions in 2021 are ready to go in the New Year, with a determination to hold the sport within the orange traffic-light conditions of the Covid-19 Protection Framework.
While major early-February show the Rangitikei Shearing Sports has joined the list of cancellations, there are still 29 competitions on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar to mid-April.
The Rangitikei shears were to have been held at Marton on February 5, incorporating the fourth-round lamb shearing leg of the PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Sharing Circuit.
Of the 59 competitions on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar for the season 23 have been cancelled and pre-Christmas only seven were held - all in the South Island.
The shearing-only Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears kicked off 2022 at Banks Peninsula on Saturday, January 8.
The first North Island competition of the season will be the Horowhenua Shears in Levin on January 23, with organisers adding woolhandling, due to the demise of the North Island Woolhandling Circuit, through the cancellation of 10 of its 13 rounds so far.
Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan said the SSNZ executive had discussed the situation of competitions still going ahead and supported them meeting the "orange" requirement that competitors and anyone else attending must have their vaccine pass confirming their double vaccination.
Contact tracing conditions would also apply, and mask-wearing would be necessary, except when competing.
Without the vaccine requirement, events would be limited to a maximum of 50 people, probably making them impossible to run.
Fagan said the executive recognised both the extra responsibilities taken on by competition organisers and the plight and distress of those who have had to cancel.
"Safety is obviously the paramount concern, but there is also some concern that some competitions might struggle to get back up and running again, especially those who have had to cancel for the second time.
"It makes it even more important that the competitions are supported, and competitors and supporters need to do everything they can to help make sure they are run successfully.
"The wool industry and our competitions are part of a long-standing backbone of the economy and of rural life and culture, so let's get on with it."
Shearing Sports competitions still scheduled to go ahead this summer:
January 8 (Saturday): Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears (shearing only), at Duvauchelle.
January 14 (Friday): Northern Southland Community Shears and national longwool championships (shearing, woolhandling), at Lowther Downs, Five Rivers, Lumsden.
January 22 (Saturday): Tapawera Shears (shearing only), at Tapawera.
January 23 (Sunday): Horowhenua A, P and I Show (shearing and woolhandling), at Levin.
January 30 (Sunday): Geyserland Agrodome Shears Rotorua (shearing, woolhandling), at Rotorua A and P Showgrounds, Ngongotaha.
February 5 (Saturday): Reefton Shears (shearing, blade shearing), Ikamatua.
February 6 (Sunday): Aria Waitangi Day Sports (shearing, woolhandling), at Aria.
February 12 (Saturday): Te Puke A and P Show (shearing only), at Te Puke; Otago Shears (shearing, woolhandling), at Telford Farm, Balclutha.
February 18-19 (Friday-Saturday): Southern Shears (shearing, woolhandling), at Gore.
February 19 (Saturday): North Hokianga A and P Show (shearing only), at Broadwood; Ohura Shears (shearing only), at Ohura A, P, H and I Show, at Niho Niho Showgrounds.
February 20 (Sunday): Counties Shears (shearing only), at Pukekohe.
February 26 (Saturday): Apiti Sports (shearing, woolhandling), at Apiti; Kaikoura A and P Show (shearing only), at Kaikoura.
February 27 (Sunday): Pahiatua Shears (shearing only), at Mangaone Valley Rd, Pahiatua.
March 2 (Wednesday): Wairarapa Pre-Shears Woolhandling (woolhandling only), at Riverside Farm, Mikimiki.
March 5 (Saturday): Amuri A and P Show (shearing only), at Rotherham.
March 12 (Saturday): Kumeu Autumn Shears (shearing only), at Kumeu; Mayfield A and P Show (shearing, blade shearing), at Mayfield.
March 19 (Saturday): Warkworth A and P Show (shearing only), at Warkworth; Waimarino Shears (shearing only), at Raetihi; Methven Lamb Shears (shearing only), at Methven A and P Show.
March 26 (Saturday): Waitomo Caves Sports (shearing only), at Waitomo.
March 27 (Sunday): Flaxbourne A and P Show (shearing only), at Ward.
March 31-April 2 (Thursday-Saturday): New Zealand Shears (shearing, woolhandling), at Te Kuiti.
April 2 (Saturday): Oxford A and P Show (shearing, blade shearing), at Oxford.
April 15-16 (Friday - Saturday): Royal Easter Show (shearing only), at Auckland.
April 18 (Monday): Mackenzie A and P Show and national lambshearing championships (shearing, blade shearing, woolhandling), at Fairlie.