Facts & History - New Zealand's iconic farming event
The New Zealand National Fieldays Society is a not-for-profit organisation that relies heavily on volunteer contribution. The Society was originally set up over 49 years ago to provide a conduit between urban and rural business, and has a proud history and an exciting future.
The land at Fieldays' home at Mystery Creek, was purchased by the Society in 1971, and has been developed constantly since that time. Land area now sits at 114 hectares with permanent buildings built, many of the roads have been sealed, power and water infrastructure have been installed with a water treatment plant also developed, making Mystery Creek a campus unrivaled across New Zealand.
The NZ Agricultural Fieldays event remains the cornerstone of the Society, with new and varied events now being hosted at Mystery Creek Events Centre every year. The Society owns and manages Mystery Creek Events Centre, Fieldays, Equidays and Transport and Heavy Equipment (THE) Expo.
The Society is governed by a Board of Directors, chaired by current President Peter Carr and run by a management team and professional group of staff led by Chief Executive Peter Nation. Supporting the staff group around the delivery of each major event is a pool of dedicated volunteers.
Being a non-profit organisation, any surpluses generated from Fieldays or our other events support the ongoing development of Mystery Creek Events Centre site and our charitable purpose to advance agriculture. Our annual donations, scholarships, grants and support total more than $100,000 per annum, a number that the Society’s Board of Directors have targeted to grow over the next 10 years. The NZ National Fieldays Society is committed to playing an integral role in New Zealand agribusiness growth and success. Examples of our annual charitable activity include:
• NZ National Fieldays Society Future Leaders Programme
• NZ National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Lewellyn Scholarship – University of Waikato
• NZ National Fieldays Society Doug Baldwin Scholarship in Event Management – WINTEC
- Fieldays was first conceptualised in 1968 by a group of local Waikato men
- Fieldays was first held at Te Rapa Racecourse in 1969 with a budget of $10,500
- The first Fieldays event attracted an estimated 15,000 people
- The event was moved to the land known as Mystery Creek in 1971
The Mystery Creek Pavilion and Mystery Creek Events Centre were created in 1995
- Today Fieldays attracts visitors from an average of 38 countries
The 40th Fieldays in 2008 attracted a record 131,000 people over four days
- Fieldays 2014 economic impact to the New Zealand economy was $422m and $138m to the Waikato economy