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Changing South: The man who bought a town

As part of a series about life in the South Island, this video follows a man with a $5 million plan

Lester Rowntree is a self-confessed hoarder who’s filling the town of Otira with stuff - every nook and cranny.

He sees Otira as the perfect location for his grand $5 million plan.

A plan he describes as “unique to the world, unique to New Zealand”.

This summer, Newsroom is featuring the work of renowned Christchurch documentary maker Gerard Smyth. In this series, called Changing South, Smyth looks at life the South Island – the people, the places and how events like the Christchurch earthquake have had a lasting impact. 

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