The management committee of the Mackenzie A&P Society is comprised of 47 members who meet monthly and all major decisions are made by committee. There are an additional 100-150 volunteers who assist around Show time and 332 family memberships. The committee pays only two part-time contractors to provide secretarial and treasury services. Everything else is done completely by volunteers.
The Mackenzie A&P Show is affiliated with The Royal Agricultural Society, which was established in 1924 and is one of the few organisations in New Zealand with a “Royal” charter. With the support of the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand (RAS), the Mackenzie A&P Show promotes the development of agricultural, pastoral, horticultural, stock-raising and forestry resources in the South Canterbury Region. The RAS encourages our Show to take initiative and to show forward thinking in the rural sector to promote and encourage excellence in the rural community. Specifically, our objectives are:
a. To advance education in agricultural and horticultural matters by collecting and making generally available information in publications and in other works as has been proved by actual experience to be useful to cultivators of the soil.
b. To correspond with agricultural and other societies, and to select from such correspondence all information which, according to the opinions of the Society, may be likely to lead to advancement of knowledge and practical benefit to the cultivators of the soil.
c. To provide remuneration to any occupier of land or other person who shall undertake research at the request of the Society to ascertain by any experiment how far such information leads to useful results in practice.
d. To encourage people of science in their attention to the improvement of agricultural implements, the application of chemistry to the general purposes of agriculture, to destruction of insects injurious to vegetable life, and the eradication of weeds.
e. To promote the discovery of new varieties of grain and other vegetable useful to mankind, or for the food of domestic animals.
f. To collect and make generally available information with regard to the management of woods, plantations and fences, and on every other subject connected with rural improvement.
g. To take measures for improving the application of veterinary science to horses, cattle, sheep and any other domesticated animals.
h. At the meetings of the Society by the distribution of prizes and by other means, to encourage and educate on the best mode of farm cultivation and to improve the breed of livestock.
i. To encourage enterprise and industry by the holding of public meetings for the exhibition of implements and produce, the granting of prizes there at for the best exhibits, and for competitions for prizes for inventions or improvements, or for skill, excellence, or achievement in agricultural and pastoral arts.
Through the affiliation our Society has with the RAS, all members are offered ongoing support and training with up to date information and developments in the rural sector. This is generally done by means of email. The RAS facilitates training of judges as well as youth development so there are options for all ages to pursue personal development. The Regional RAS office offers workshops for administrators which have covered topics such as software programs, social media and health and safety as well as offered administrators valuable times of networking and sharing ideas.
Many volunteer organisations struggle with attracting and retaining volunteers. Our Society is unique. With the Show being one of the major events held in South Canterbury, volunteers are not too hard to find as it is a positive event to be a part of- and there is something for everyone to do. The management committee has a great reputation of being a down to earth, friendly and welcoming group of people. Once volunteers get on board, they are generally there for quite a long while. Our oldest active volunteer in well into his 80’s!
The Show Committee would like to extend an open invitation for Show helpers. This doesn’t mean you have to ‘join’ the Committee (though you are MORE than welcome to!)…but with an ageing Committee, we can definitely use always use more helpers for setting up, taking down and on the day. Please consider putting your hand up and contacting me.