Cyclone Gabrielle has put a stop to this year’s Napier Port Primary Sector Awards, but a celebration of Hawke’s Bay’s food and fibre producers will still go ahead.
The long-running awards, organised by the Hawke’s Bay A&P society, recognise the region’s best across a variety of categories. The evening culminates with the naming of the Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year.
Organising event chair Grant Charteris said it was a tough decision to postpone the awards, but “I don’t think there could have been any other decision”.
“We took the view that, with everything going on with the cyclone, it was best to postpone this year. We didn’t want the competition to become a survival of the fittest, whether that means physically on your farm or mentally,” Charteris said.
“That’s not what the competition is about.”
He said nominations for the event’s 10 categories had closed but “pretty much all had been impacted in some way by the cyclone”.
“There are a whole lot of reasons why people aren’t in the mindset for this at the moment. Out of respect for the people in the community and the competition, let’s take a break for a year.”
All nominations for awards will carry over to next year.
Charteris said the organising committee decided it was important to hold a function of some type and give farmers and growers an opportunity to get off their properties, have a laugh and relax. As a result a function, with no awards, will be held at the ToiToi HB Arts and Events Centre on Thursday, June 29. It will be hosted by comedian T Radar.
“We wanted to make it a chance to get off the farm and share your stories with other people in the agriculture sector … keep it really informal but keep it upbeat and positive.”
Tickets for the evening can be purchased through eventfinda. Proceeds from the event will go back to the region through the Rural Support Trust.