Events taken by surprise as rent dispute forces Auckland venue to close

One of Auckland’s largest venues has gone under leaving scheduled events scrambling to find new venues.

Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds went into liquidation last week following a dispute with its landlord over rent during the pandemic, according to former chair of the showgrounds board, Kim Campbell.

The news took the Collectors Car sale by surprise when liquidators ordered staff from Webb’s Auction House out last Tuesday as they were preparing for Sunday’s auction.

Caolan McAleer, head of collectors’ cars, motorcycles and automobilia at Webb’s, told Morning Report they had spent weeks and months planning this event.

“We had the liquidator walk in and just pretty much shut us down, just caught us all by surprise,” he said.

“We’d been packing it in since Saturday, to be told that we had to get it all out, including 44 cars, which you can imagine, was a bit of a logistical feat in itself.”

The venue was also due to host the Auckland Food Show, Home Show and Baby Show in coming weeks.