New Zealand’s Auckland Showgrounds, which went into liquidation in June 2021, is set to reopen following the appointment of a new operator to run the site.

The landowner, the Cornwall Park Trust Board (CPTB), has agreed to let the NZ Exhibition & Events Co (NZEEC) operate the showgrounds under a temporary licence as an events and exhibition facility while it secures a long-term tenant.

CPTB CEO Murray Reade said the Board was “keen to get the gates open” and said the past few months had been an extremely frustrating time.

Reade said the board had completed a range of maintenance work to ready the showgrounds for operation again.

Several parties have expressed interest in taking over the lease, Reade said, although it is expected to take several months to secure an agreement with any new operator.

“Rather than wait for that competitive process to work through before we do anything else, we’ve managed to come to a short-term arrangement that gives event organisers the opportunity to plan with confidence, that gives us revenue to help fund the operation of Cornwall Park, and that gives the people of Auckland the opportunity to enjoy what we expect will be some first-class events,” Reade said.

NZEEC director Mark Frankham said he was in discussion with exhibitors who had previously used the showgrounds. “We look forward to welcoming everybody back to the Auckland Showgrounds,” he said.