Brass Monkey to consider future

Rising compliance costs may put the brakes permanently on the Brass Monkey motorcycle rally. The future of the rally, which has been held for the past 35 years at Oturehua over Queens Birthday Weekend, is uncertain.

''We'll be getting together over the next week or so for the debriefing of this year's event and one of the things we'll consider is whether we'll continue on with it,'' organising committee member John Willems said yesterday.

The event, run by a sub-committee of the Otago Motorcycle Club, attracted 1300 people this year.

Mr Willems said the rising costs included liquor licensing fees and requirements, hiring security guards and paying to have a St John ambulance officer on site.

''I don't begrudge any of that, especially the St John's person - and they have rising costs too - but we need to look at what it costs us to stage this event.

''We're a volunteer group and we're trying to keep the entry fee at a reasonable level but we need to take a closer look at our costs and it takes a lot of effort and a lot of money to run a rally like this.''

The decision would not be made lightly.

''We'll be sitting down with everyone, including the local community, to discuss it before making any decision and there's quite a few channels to go through first. Other options will be considered too, such as possibly only holding it every second year,'' Mr Willems said.

''My gut feeling is that it will continue on. Certainly the feedback we had from riders at the weekend was that they wanted it to carry on.''

Planning for the following year's rally began at least six months ahead, he said.

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