Colourful autumn heralds winter of empty coffers

The colours in the township of Oturehua start to change with the season.

The rural Central Otago village is also quieter than usual due to the pandemic, with its biggest event, the Brass Monkey Rally, on hold until next year.

Ken Gillespie, who owns the rally site near the Ida Dam, said the local community was remaining stoic in the face of losing a money-spinner due to the global pandemic.

"This was a major fundraiser for the Otago Motorcycle Club and the Oturehua Winter Sports Club."

The event had, in its 40-year history, supported the Ida Valley community "tremendously".

However, the community had taken the news well, he said.

"Everyone realised we couldn’t have it."

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