Central Districts Field Days vital for Feilding's small businesses

Owner of South Street West Motel Pauline Sarjeant is one of many accommodation providers in Feilding who benefits from ...
David Unwin/Fairfax NZ.

Owner of South Street West Motel Pauline Sarjeant is one of many accommodation providers in Feilding who benefits from Manfeild's hosting of the Central Districts Field Days.

The Central Districts Field Days are a big deal for Feilding businesses, accommodation providers say. 

Exhibitors and visitors flooded to the region for a three day festival of agribusiness, but the financial impact of the annual event went well beyond Manfeild's gates.

Event manager Brett McMeekin​ said 23,700 people paid to be at the event and while there were reports farmers weren't too keen on forking out big dollars, Feilding businesses were pleased with the cash injection.  

Central Districts Field Days draws both farmers and townies to Manfeild.
Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ.

Central Districts Field Days draws both farmers and townies to Manfeild.

South Street West Motel owner Pauline Sarjeant​ said the economic benefits spanned across all hospitality and retail stores in town. 

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"I was out at the new noodle shop in town getting some takeaways and everything was full - it was absolutely humming," she said. 

"All restaurants and bars would have had a great trade."

The summer boom is worth a large percent of her business for the year, with Field Days punters netting the motel $15,000 over three days. 

"We were absolutely chocka. Packed house from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - all exhibitors," she said. 

"They all book year in, year out. They've all said they're coming back next year already. February and March are always big months for us so that income keeps us going through the quieter months."

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Feilding Motel owner Val Coffey said her nine room business was also booked a year in advance. 

"We're booked well in advance for all those big events - beef expo, dairy events, volleyball teams and canoe polo. Stock cars are also another big one for us.

"We guide them into town where all the eating places are. After a while they all get to know where the best places in town are. 

"I don't know if you'd say they are crucial to everybody's business, but there's always a good turnover." 

Manawatu mayor Helen Worboys said Field Days solidified Feilding's reputation as an agricultural hub, only a week after hosting the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games. 

"How we rolled one event into the next, often overlapping to complement each other, was outstanding and showed how well our region works together.

"A great example was the AgriFood Investment week activities held with the CD Field Days. The seminars, panel discussions and presentations around innovation, technology and the future of agriculture added huge value to the core business of CD Field Days.

"The good weather certainly helped the positive mood around the Field Days and the town."

Worboys said although sales on site were slow, the profile for Feilding businesses was invaluable.  

 

 

 

 - Stuff

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