A bit of rain was barely noticed by hardy crowds at Mystery Creek as the 49th National Agricultural Fieldays notched up an all time record gate of 133,588.
Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation said he had people suggest to him it was the best ever Fieldays.
“Certainly we had the biggest gate ever at 133,588 and we had the biggest Thursday on record. The primary industry overall is in good shape – certainly better than last year – so that’s a good sign. The farmers were in good heart,” he said.
Peter was thrilled that representatives from more than 40 countries attended the event and nine of them exhibited.
“We made a few changes to the layout of the site which was a risk but it worked well. And we opened the Rural Health Hub so there was a lot going on at this year’s event.
“The exhibitors I talked to have all had good sales, some even exceeded their sales targets by Wednesday night or Thursday,” he said.
“I’ve even had good reports of traffic flow. Whether that was a result of our new park and ride at The Base I don’t know but I’ll take it.”
Peter paid tribute to the Mystery Creek staff and the 280 volunteers, many of whom were taking some time off to recover.
“I think some people probably take it for granted now that it will go off without a hitch. But we put a lot of work into emergency planning. We inducted 7800 contractors to the site which is the biggest at any event in New Zealand according to Worksafe.
“You step back and look at what a whole of people have created here at Mystery Creek and it’s very rewarding.”