History of the show


The New Zealand Boat Show was first held as part of the Easter Show at the Auckland Showgrounds.


The boat show is promoted under its own name as "The Auckland Easter Show Boat Show" due to its early success.


The Outboard Boating Club runs its own display of boats in various locations. 


Organisers from various clubs come together to run the first Auckland Boat and Caravan Show. 


The first boat show "lake" is introduced, becoming a popular attraction over the years. During this time it was home to a huge range of entertainment: from hilarious water ski shows and fiercely-fought powerboat races to a pirate ship giving rides; from performing chimpanzees to a helicopter dumping monsoon buckets of water into the cockpit of an apparently-unsinkable runabout.


The Showgrounds adds a new pavilion, expanding the display space.


The boat show goes by various names, including Boat and Caravan Show, Auckland Boat and Caravan Show, and Auckland Boat Show. 


The name "New Zealand National Boat Show" is briefly used, and then it becomes the New Zealand Boat Show. 


The show's duration is shortened to five days. 


The show is moved to Queens Birthday Weekend.


Changes are made to introduce a more professional and transparent system for judging new release boats. A gala Boat of the Show Awards Evening is introduced, becoming a prestigious event in the marine industry.


The show becomes known as the "Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show." 


The lake feature briefly returns, but proves financially unsustainable.


The show's date is changed to a four-day event in mid-May, and a new pavilion is added to replace an older hall.


The show is recognised as the best boat show in Australasia.


XPO Exhibitions acquired the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show from long-time owner Auckland Water Ski Club.


'Spillane vs Cornwall Park Trust Board' - XPO's MD wins a High Court case to save the Auckland Showgrounds from being repurposed, evidencing clear legal protections for exhibitions & events to continue priority usage of the site. The Boat Show (amongst other iconic events) was used as a case study to demonstrate the important community value that the Showgrounds has provided for many generations attending the event on the site; as well as the significant economic footprint the venue continues to provide for many 1000s of small business exhibitors. (Note : The NZ Government and Auckland Council has historically invested into the buildings & facilities at the Showgrounds for the very purpose of hosting exhibitions).