Event boost for economy, reputation

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Timaru has once again proved it can play host to large events, with another successful FMG Young Farmer of the Year under its belt.
The event, won last week by Aorangi’s Athol New, took place in and around Timaru benefiting the city’s economy and its reputation as host, Aoraki Development chief executive Nigel Davenport said.
Timaru last hosted the event in 2002.
He could not confirm how much money had come into the city’s economy as a result of last week’s event, but word of mouth suggested it had been a great success.
‘‘I think it was an absolutely outstanding event. I know, talking to a number of businesses around town, they welcomed the influx of people from around the country.
‘‘It showcased Timaru can handle an event of that type, [including] from a logistical perspective.’’
The competition, which started on Thursday and finished on Saturday, featured seven grand finalists from around the country: winner Mr New, Jake Thomson, of the Northern region, Calvin Ball, of Waikato-Bay of Plenty, James Hoban, of Tasman, Logan Wallace, of Otago-Southland, Pete Fitz-Herbert, of Taranaki-Manawatu and Tony Dowman, of the East Coast.
Their events were hosted at various venues — Raincliff Station, Caroline Bay, the Theatre Royal and Southern Trust Events Centre.
New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive officer Terry Copeland said Timaru was a great location and local support had made this year’s event a great success.
‘‘I thought Timaru really put it on. There was great support. The street parade was amazing. We could walk up Stafford St [and] the retailers [created] window displays. There was really good buy-in by Timaru.’’
Accommodation NZ board representative for South Canterbury Karl Winter said the motel sector was ‘‘buoyant’’ on Thursday and Friday.
‘‘I’m not 100% sure if everyone [across all accommodation providers] was booked out [but] from a motelier’s perspective, motels were pretty full.’’
Events like the FMG Young Farmer of the Year were also a great promotion for the district, Mr Davenport said.
He hoped Timaru would get to host the FMG Young Farmer of the Year again soon.
‘‘With the likes of events like that — the Young Farmers will be spread around the country — [but] we’ve put our best foot forward to be involved again, sooner rather than later.’’