Waikato Homeowners opening up hearts and homes for Fieldays
Waikato homeowners are being urged to embrace NZ’s farming community as they pour into the city and help bridge the shortfall in beds needed for Fieldays, the Southern hemisphere's largest agricultural showpiece festival coming to Mystery Creek and FIFA U20 World cup this month.
A collision of Fieldays and football is putting the squeeze on accommodation prices in Hamilton, with visitors paying up to triple the usual price for a room next month. There are very few beds available in Hamilton or Cambridge through commercial accommodation providers. Waikato Motel Association president and Ulster Lodge Motel owner Narinder Sagoo said increased prices during high-profile events was normal practice worldwide. His rooms started around the $250 mark for the football-Fieldays week.
"In any demand-type of business, like if you're flying in peak times, there are different rates that apply. I wouldn't want anyone to be overcharging, but it is nothing untoward."
Fielday visitors tend to leave booking their accommodation to the last minute.
To help answer that demand, New Zealand’s Homestay Network, ‘Look After Me’ is urgently seeking Waikato homeowners with guest rooms or sleep-outs to billet paying guests. Founder Dr Julia Charity says “we’ve got a track record of being an accommodation life-saver for other big events around the country, like Raggamuffin, Art Deco and Womad. We’ve still got plenty of accommodation – some just minutes away from the venue. There is no reason for people to be turned away from staying for Fieldays or being charged as three times as much as they need to.”
Look After Me is a New Zealand based peer-to-peer accommodation network, which matches accommodation hunters with like-minded people. Hosts are vetted for fair prices and rooms range from single, modest rooms through to guest wings in exclusive and luxurious properties.
Charity says “We want people to come to Fieldays and go away buzzing about the warmth of the welcome they received. With people coming from as far away as China, United States and South America, we rely on the people of the Waikato to show them genuine kiwi hospitality.
As a special promotion to help Fieldays organisers, ‘Look After Me’ is offering homeowners a special deal where they can sign up for a month trial for $29.
Jill and Adrian Nelson, ‘Look After Me’ hosts who manage a 84 hectares working dairy farm with commanding views over Karapiro say “we’ve been hosting guests for three years for Look After Me and we love it. We’re real farming people so we’re looking forward to meeting this year’s Fielday guests. We usually find we’ve got a lot in common.”
Last year guests Liz and Murray Walden travelled down from Kerikeri for the event. “We’re the sort of people who only just decided a week ago to come down to Fieldays. We were pleasantly surprised to find such a great place so close. It’s definitely a bonus staying with other farmers, especially one with a spa overlooking the lake.”
To book accommodation or become a host - Freecall Julia Charity: 0800 526 123 or visitwww.lookafterme.co.nz