The North Kaipara Agricultural Association (NKAA) was established in 1876. Mr Edward Coates was President and Mr Ariel was Secretary. The first Show was held at Pahi; the second Show at Matakohe by the old store and the third at the old Paparoa School. Skelton’s paddock was used for the cattle section, the school rooms for the indoor section and the main road was used for the horses.
Shows rotated around these 3 locations for a few years until they moved to the flat ground adjoining the site that was later occupied by Cliff’s Hall. The building of the Hall gave the Show impetus. It continued to be an annual event from then on, apart from one year when the influenza epidemic was rife and another year during World War 1 when a Patriotic Show took place instead.
From these early days the Show has given support to many local initiatives. The Paparoa Brass Band (1880) played at the Show for many years and in more recent times the Dargaville High School Band and other local blue grass and jazz bands have enlivened the Show.
Many sports clubs have used the grounds over the decades:
- 1911 Mr W Davis was given permission to lay out a cricket pitch
- 1914 saw the Rugby Club under Mr Simpson given the go-ahead to use the grounds for games.
- 1910 The Tennis Club was formed
- 1914 The Hockey Club started playing on the grounds
- 1924 The Bowling Club started and was still going until recently.
Community events have also taken place thanks to NKAA; community bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night, combined schools sports days, ploughing and wool sorting competitions and the Defence Department used the grounds for a rifle range around 1920.
Fund raising to pay for Show’s running costs has also featured in the Show’s history. Fetes were held – one made £112, a Gymkhana made £20 but the largest money earner was a Patriotic Show that raised £359 !! The Otamatea County also gave generous support.
More recently the Show grounds have been used for the Pony Club, Team Roping, Harness events, Touch Rugby tournaments and Gypsy Caravan shows.
Over the years many local families have been involved in working for the show – in particular the Cliffs – Jim Cliff made his paddock available for Dog Trials, side shows, parking etc. He had a lifelong active participation in the care of the grounds and running of the Show.
Other family names that appear in the records include Wilson, Hames, Gregory, Coates, Smith, Skelton, Ovens, Colebeck, Tibbetts, Goodall, Fenwick, McCarroll, Evans, Whitmore, McPherson, Snelling, Withers, Pasley, Massey, Higgins, New, Sutherland, Sloan, Dodds, Linton, Metcalfe, Griffen, Lynch, Harvey, Radd, and Leaf to mention just a few.
1976 – The Centennial Show was a huge day with many locals lending a hand to get the grounds ready – a new Dairy Pavilion was built. Dairy cattle were of the highest importance in the cattle section. All entries were very high – imagine 710 pony entries!!! Highland dancing, wood chopping, shearing, dog trials and of course the usual evening dance were all a great success.
Since 1876, the enduring success of NKAA and the Paparoa A&P Show, is due to the ongoing commitment of hundreds of volunteers from the North Kaipara area. These volunteers give their time and energy to preserve the historical and economic relevance of the Show.
Our Show has a long and very interesting past – and with the help of our community may this continue into the future. It is there for you to enjoy.
If you want to know more about the long and interesting history of the North Kaipara Agricultural Association please go to PapersPast. link: www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz
Here you should select “By Region” to view by region - either Auckland region or Northland region. In the Auckland Region you can view articles from the Auckland Star and the NZ Herald. You will find the Northern Advocate in the Northland region. Once in the newspaper search for “North Kaipara Agricultural” to refine your viewing. There are many other papers to search through as well.
You will find articles that are interesting, quaint and amusing. Well worth foraging around.