The Cornwall Park Trust board has taken control of the ASB Showgrounds site and buildings in Auckland, but there are issues that need to be addressed before it can host events again, the board said .
The Auckland Agricultural Pastoral and Industrial Exhibitions Board, operating as ASB Showgrounds, was put into liquidation in June due to the impact of Covid-19, coupled with the increase in rents charged by its landlord , the Cornwall Park Trust Board (CPTB).
An initial liquidators report produced by liquidator Paul Vlasic last week indicated that ASB Showgrounds was in debt of $ 4.6 million and the site was not trading.
This could force the liquidator to accept personal responsibility for outstanding rent payments, according to the report.
* ASB Showgrounds owes $ 4.6 million to creditors, negotiations halt, liquidator report says
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However, Brent Spillane, managing director of Xpo, the company behind The Food Show, said on Wednesday that his event will still take place at ASB Showgrounds from July 29 to August 1.
“We have had confirmation that the Auckland Food Show will start as planned on its initial dates at ASB Showgrounds,” said Spillane.
On Wednesday afternoon, CPTB President Adrienne Young-Cooper said she hoped the show grounds would reopen soon.
The liquidator decided on Wednesday to “terminate the lease”, which meant that the CPTB was now in possession of the site and buildings and was able to make decisions regarding the immediate future of the fairground, she said. declared.
Young-Cooper said the CPTB was working on an interim solution that would allow the exhibition park to reopen, but some issues had yet to be resolved.
It was too early to set a date for the completion of this work, she said.
“While we would like to see this finalized as soon as possible, a rushed solution would not give potential exhibitors and other stakeholders the certainty they need, nor guarantee the protection of our long-term interests.”
The infrastructure that a new operator would need to operate the fairgrounds remained in place. To achieve this, the CPTB bought assets from the liquidator, she said.
Now that the lease has been terminated, he could deal directly with people wishing to make proposals to manage the fairground site, she said.
Vlasic said he would continue to work to recover funds from creditors.
“It remains a complex situation, with a lot of moving parts, and we greatly appreciate everyone’s patience,” said Vlasic.
Spillane said more information would be revealed later in the week. Xpo had been involved in conversations with a number of parties, including the liquidator, he said.
The Food Show had 250 confirmed exhibitors, 100 of which would be exhibiting for the first time as well as an “incredible” list of chefs who would be doing demonstrations, he said.
“This iconic show is up and running, and we are certainly telling our customers that.”
Spillane said Xpo has planned other shows at ASB Showgrounds, including Baby Show NZ in August.
“I expect to have more than I can confirm on these events shortly.
“Everything is going in the right direction, there are some very positive conversations going on. “
Auckland Council’s economic development agency Auckland Unlimited was supporting Xpo, he said.
ASB Showgrounds was a “vital” location for Auckland’s domestic tourism, he said.
Xpo’s show portfolio alone has drawn 78,000 overnight visitors to Auckland and has served as a “showcase” for thousands of small and medium-sized businesses, he said.