Dunedin North care less filthy slum

—– Original Message —–
From: Jeff Dickie
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 5:45 PM
Subject: Sunday in the slums of North Dunedin

Hi Elizabeth, your comments re the new hotel [“Cull’s Cockup”, the new “Farry’s Folly”] are very good and congratulations on the National Radio coverage.

In the next day or so I’d like to post something on your Whatif site regarding the implications of the DCC neglecting core business and services. We’ve watched as the North End has transformed from an integrated community combining residents and students to an intensely populated and filthy slum. Largely as a result of poor planning by the DCC and University. I took these photos on Sunday, 16 March.

While Dave preens himself in front of the mirror and is distracted by the latest snake oil salesmen, there are some very serious social issues developing.

Regards, Jeff

George Street
Jeff Dickie DSC05341 (2)Jeff Dickie DSC05340 (2)

Castle Street
Jeff Dickie DSC05342 (2)

Jeff Dickie DSC05344 (2)

JeffDickie DSC05377 (2)Jeff Dickie DSC05343 (2)Jeff Dickie DSC05378 (2)

Jeff Dickie DSC05376 (2)Jeff Dickie DSC05375 (3)

Related Post and Comments:
19.3.14 Dunedin North drunks
15.2.14 University of Otago: Starter questions for Harlene
10.2.14 University of Otago major sponsor for Highlanders
25.3.13 University of Otago: NEGATIVE PRESS: Weekly disorder…
20.2.12 University of Otago student orientation
17.12.11 Stadium + Cull love = University of Otago + OUSA party
23.11.11 Judge Oke Blaikie finally said it

For more, enter *university* or *campus* in the search box at right.


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34 responses to “Dunedin North care less filthy slum

  1. Today Jeff Dickie sent through more images of littering.

    George Street
    Jeff Dickie DSC05433 (2)Jeff Dickie DSC05435 (2)

    Albany Street
    Jeff Dickie DSC05429 (2)Jeff Dickie DSC05430 (2)

    • Julia Cole Kneissl

      Seventy-three London Street
      Dunedin New Zealand.
      Julia Kneissl
      A blog written by “Bryce “on face book in 2007 is headed “Did you live at 73 London Street too? “Oh Bryce, if you only knew, that is the house where I was raised, it was the house that my Father built out of love for my Mother in the early 1940s. It was the house where he lived until he was placed in a Home at ninety-four years of age in the late 1990s. It was a house that stood proudly on a cliff overlooking the city and harbor. It was our house.
      Seventy-three London Street was a grand house in its day. The downstairs boasted a drawing room, beautifully furnished, velvet drapes, a fireplace, exquisite furniture and only used for company, formal company. Formal company might be a member of the clergy, or someone to impress. Once a year there was a party, and every window ledge, and chandelier was cleaned to perfection in case anyone tall saw a speck of dust. An equally as large dining room was next to it, but for us it housed the piano and a second sitting area where my brother and I did our homework. It had a gas fire that warmed our fronts but left our bottoms frozen. The kitchen was the hub of the house with a full wall of storage, a table and benches which lowered from the wall, and a stainless steel sink counter which wrapped a third wall. Most of our meals were eaten here. Adjoining the kitchen was a sunroom that was the other room we lived in. It stretched out into the back yard that was always in bloom with seasonal flowers, roses that lived forever and a cherry tree that blossomed on my birthday, in August. On one side of the yard was my Father’s prize winning vegetable garden, nourished by the cocobeans that came from the chocolate factory in town. (Such a sweet smell would drift over the city). In the winter months, fantail birds would fly into the sunroom, give my Mother a song and then leave. We each had our assigned seating in the sunroom and many confidences were exchanged there. Outside the back door was a ‘wash house” a room which had it’s original “copper” for boiling clothes, later to be replaced by a wringer – washer and the coldest toilet which ever existed. We were privileged however in having a second toilet.
      Halfway up the staircase was the bathroom which was heated ( a rarity in those days). Behind the tub there was a small cupboard that opened up to attic space where toys were kept and was a secret place. It was a place to hide when one was going to be held accountable for some misdeed, real or imagined. Leaving the bathroom and going up the remaining stairs (the third stair creaked horribly and announced the hour of my return when I was of dating age) were three bedrooms, all of generous size. My room had a polka dot pattern that was not quite even around the dormer. I often counted the dots and in my mind’s eye tried to justify their existence.
      I left London Street when I married and came overseas in the late fifties. My Dad remarried after my Mother died and continued to live there until failing health forced him into a Home. The house fell into disrepair, some due to neglect and some due to the cracks in the cliff caused by earthquakes and age. It was sold and used for student housing condemned to a life of debauchery and neglect, or so I thought.
      However London Street took on some human qualities. As it aged it developed a soul and I have the information from Bryce’s Blog to thank for my insight.
      “For three years 73 London Street was my flat in Dunedin and I have fond memories of that place. It was also the place where we had our home group meetings. Every Friday night forty or fifty people would cram into the living room for worship and then we would break up into smaller groups for bible study in different rooms of the house. After that it would be time for supper and everyone would always hang around talking until after midnight.”
      Now that London Street has a soul it will live forever in a spiritual sense to all those who loved her.

      • Elizabeth

        fantastique, Julia!

        Have sent the link to chair of the Royal/Pitt/Heriot Residential Heritage Precinct Protection Incorporated.

        73 London Street is located within the precinct (to be included in the second generation district plan now processing at Dunedin City Council).

  2. le duc

    I accept the places are less than salubrious, but ‘slum’ used to mean worse: broken downpipes permanently cascading water, men down the drain (homeless and out of work), hillside villa multiflats with washing machine emptied out windows and water running up the interior walls. Upward, anti gravity. I never got the physics of it. Disclaimer, they were not Dunedin properties.

  3. Peter

    Aside from the litter, which is not a good look, the photos of some of the newer buildings make the student quarter look rather grim in places. Like the top one in this second series of photos that Jeff sent in…..the bland one, stone coloured with blue aluminium windows, and a fence jammed across the front. The verandah is presumably meant to give ‘style’.
    Though we go by these places often, the photos somehow hit you more. It is a great shame for Dunedin that some of these new deveglopments are allowed to get through and no insistence is made on having a higher standard like other, more stylish, developments which do exist.
    I particularly dislike it where there is no/little surrounding vegetation, to presumably allow for cars. This would at least soften the stark surroundings. (I would have thought being carless, for many students, would be a good option given the student loan burden.)

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Gardens” cost maintenance and provide extra dumping space for bottles (including broken glass) and other rubbish, trees get broken. In areas that attract more mature tenants the addition of vegetation encourages a better type of tenant, in ghetto-style areas it’s not worth while, not while the type of tenants and the neighbourhood are into breaking and trashing.

      • Peter

        Probably a catch 22 scenario. Ghetto style begets ghetto behaviour. They probably have to start with more substantial trees/shrubs. Worth a go, but I understand the frustration caused by vandalism. Not helped also with the kind of students Otago University seems to like attracting. All caused by their marketing, of course.

        • Peter, Hype – if you look at the two-storey contemporary villa-style student accommodation that lies behind the (cared for) old houses on the west side of Castle Street, all set in low maintenance gardens and lawn with screened off-street parking available – you will see how students look after their patch, even in the so-called worst street. It takes an intelligent and empowering Dunedin landlord-developer to know the secret of good stewardship, able tenanting and successful property investment.

  4. Peter

    Yes, Elizabeth, good modelling of what can be done or has been done is a good start. Maybe the DCC planners or whoever has some say in the organisation over these matters, could provide insights for those less imaginative developers as to how they could do better without necessarily incurring too higher costs. Maybe they already do?
    Unfortunately, you always get the mongrels that don’t care, but life should not be made easy for them.

  5. ### ODT Online Mon, 31 Mar 2014
    ‘Lots of disorder’ disappoints police
    By Timothy Brown
    A police officer was allegedly assaulted and firefighters had bottles thrown at them by partygoers during a weekend when there was “lots of disorder”, Dunedin police say. Two Port Chalmers men were arrested after an incident in Harrington St on Saturday night when the constable was punched in the face and police arrested 10 people after a spate of fires in North Dunedin. Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken said behaviour such as that exhibited in North Dunedin was “putting other people at risk”. There was “lots of disorder” during the night.
    Read more

  6. When will City authorities shut the Bastards down?
    I really think Harlene enjoys the mayhem – reverse psychology (marketing for ‘world class’ university a la Animal House). Come to think of it, Harlene and Sue Bidrose are products of the same university department. Daaave’s got his mayoral fund to clean up a couple of broken windows.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz April 2, 2014 – 6:07pm
    Hyde St keg party sells out
    Tickets for this year’s Hyde St keg party sold out on-line in just two minutes last night.

  7. Woodhaugh resident Jeff Dickie contacted the University of Otago vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne to ask her to assess the damage, but was told she was not in a position to do so.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Apr 2014
    Couch fire remains in Woodhaugh pool
    By Hamish McNeilly
    Jeff Dickie has had a gutsful. Walking through Woodhaugh Gardens with his daughter on their way to school, he was appalled to discover the still smouldering remains of a couch fire in the empty toddlers’ pool. Native wood was piled on top of the charred remains and the area was littered with crushed alcohol cans, shards of glass and discarded clothing.
    Read more

    Clearly, the University of Otago and Vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne are not GOOD NEIGHBOURS.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      How unfortunate that the august personage was “not in a position to” check out the damage for herself.
      OU VC mission statement: “I see nutheen.” Looks lovely, the elegant plaque on her wall.

  8. Living on the edge of Studentville
    It’s been a slightly harrowing early morning – I was quietly editing when disturbed by loud female screams and sick distress from the rear of our property, or was it next door? A couple of lights went on but none of the foreign students – men and women – across from my apartment were prepared to leave their rooms to find out what was happening (I will be pounding on their doors tomorrow to give them A MESSAGE).
    Phone, jacket, heavy torch, out I went. I eventually tracked down what was a lone female, under 20, huddled in a dark corner to the rear of next door’s property, in a severely disoriented, ill and distressed state. She’d been vomiting between screams when I first heard her, but was now resting on the ground, suffering from either alcohol or party drug poisoning or both and was unable to help herself. By the time I reached her she was more or less unresponsive but still breathing.
    The ambulance took forever to come (student party night in Dunners). She had no friends, no ID, and couldn’t or wouldn’t talk. I told her help was coming and that produced a response.
    Then she started dry wretching but clearly had no idea who or where she was or how she got there. When she became still I didn’t let her pass out and she was close to the recovery position in any case.
    By the time the ambulance arrived she was a little more coherent. Agreed she was a student, a first year, named a home city and a hall of residence. Then I had a slight argument after she was helped into the truck since the officers were going to take her ‘home’ – I resisted that and said it has to be “to ED” because of what I’d observed in the 20 minutes before they arrived. I said we didn’t know what she’d taken or what it was doing to her interior. They got uppity and said right we’ll take it from here (whatever that meant).
    So I rang the Hall and said I have just put one of yours in an Ambulance and it’s either coming your way or going to ED and that they could ring a St John’s dispatcher to learn more. We had a good chat and later the Hall rang me back and said she hadn’t arrived there and that her friends were pretty worried – so bloody St Johns hadn’t even bothered to ring the Hall and had simply left her at ED. The ambulance officers, forgive me, weren’t the brightest and had an attitude.
    The Hall said they’d ring ED and also offered off their own bat to call me tomorrow to tell me what happened, and thanked me for my patience. I said all I care about is that she’s safe.
    These things happen, but how did her friends lose her in the first place, were they all out of it? I suspect the Hall will be doing something stronger than education once everybody is accounted for.
    Meanwhile my dreadfully uncaring neighbours can get out their hose and scrubbing brushes tomorrow and clean down their yard… although it would’ve been better if they’d had the brains and fortitude to immediately help a young woman in distress, who clearly needed help. But whom they close to blatantly ignore and leave to her fate, such as a swallowed tongue.
    I abhor stupid people who do not look out for others.

    Students need to stop binging, stop losing their friends, stop putting themselves at risk. The young woman tonight, by chance, chose a safe place to get help – anywhere else she would’ve had no defences left if someone decided to do her serious harm.
    She was lucky, she only harmed herself but that could’ve finished her off too.
    (or did someone give her something nasty?)
    I will find out.

    • The answer does lie with the stupendously loud vomiting that first raised my attention to the young woman’s plight.

      ‘Very loud vomiting’, noted by attending clinicians, is mentioned in the interview with Dr Leo Schep this morning at Nine to Noon (RNZ National), in relation to the taking legal highs (party pills).

      I mention unnaturally loud vomiting as a tell-tale sign of substance abuse, should you find someone in distress and you’re unsure if they’ve been drinking and or taking legal highs or other substances. ‘Noise’ is something else to point out in your observations to ambulance staff, police or medical officers attending.

      ### radionnz.co.nz Monday 28 April 2014
      None to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
      09:10 Government move to stop the sales of all legal highs.
      With Dr Leo Schep from the National Poisons Centre.
      Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (16:18 )

      • ### dunedintv.co.nz May 1, 2014 – 7:03pm
        Nightly Interview: Leo Schep
        The Government recently announced legislation to remove all remaining psychoactive substances from sale would be introduced to the House next week. The legislation is expected to be passed under urgency, and should come into force not long after. National Poisons Centre toxicologist Dr Leo Schep is here to tell us what that might mean.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Well done, Elizabeth. By golly that kid was lucky you heard her, lucky you went out and found her and acted with compassion and commonsense. She could so easily have been starring in a coroner’s report some months hence. Let’s hope this experience has given her some self-preservation hints so she won’t still end up a victim of her own stupidity – or others’ viciousness.
    The ratio of caring to uncaring in her immediate vicinity, and the yeah-nah-meh ambos isn’t encouraging, for anyone who fancies their chances of safely getting away with unsafe behaviour.
    By the way, according to the NZ figures (health, police) being drugged by others is mainly a myth, an explanation for being much more of a mess than intended. The truth is usually something about drinking far more alcohol in a far shorter time than the body can handle, often without food because it’s more economical to drink on an empty stomach. Being unexpected and unintended, the degree of incapacity is attributed to the munter & friends as “drink was drugged”. It’s a human trait to make explanations for “mysterious” events, Occam be buggered.

    • I think she’ll have learnt something, and given her friends were really worried about her, I’m told, then more learning may happen. Spiking drinks is so easy with what’s about right now – whether by self-medication or other means (the student season means more chemicals flow into Dunedin from all around sweet NZ) – I’ll sit on the fence as to what got her wrecked tonight, the fact that her skirt was unzipped and falling off added to myths of what might have happened, I tell ya.
      Plus it’s interesting how people react when they’re stricken. Some head to a people-place to be noticed (helped, they hope) – others slink off into dark corners like wounded animals, where they hope to confine their injuries and unwellness or unscramble their brain cells, alone.

  10. Peter

    Not sure whether it is an urban myth or not, but I understand, if in distress, it is best to yell out ‘fire’ rather than ‘help me’ to get people out looking. All to do with saving property, I guess. Helping people gets you involved, it seems, and no one wants that, do they?

    • That would be worth trying, Peter. It has logic. This person had no words when I first heard her – she was in, let’s call it, pure ‘human animal’ mode.

  11. Elizabeth; the ‘lady with the lamp’. Thank God there are still some of those around. That young girl will not want her folks to know about that night I’m sure.

  12. ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Apr 2014
    Ultimatum over Hyde St party
    By Vaughan Elder
    The residents of Hyde St are ready for a right royal party, but have been warned it could be the last if this year’s keg party gets out of control. This year’s 3500-capacity event taking place a day before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Dunedin and festivities are set to take on a royal flavour. One flat has the theme ”Your Royal Hydeness”.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Apr 2014
    Royal no-show no blow to Hyde St party fun
    By Nigel Benson
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge couldn’t make it in the end. More than 3000 priests, porn stars, Playboy bunnies, penguins, disco dancers, Egyptians, suicide bombers and superheroes attended the Hyde St keg party in Dunedin today. By lunchtime, half a dozen dazed party-goers had already been escorted, or carried, out.
    Read more + Video
    Thank god the rain has arrived.

    • ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Apr 2014
      Event’s future seems secure
      The future of the Hyde St keg party appears secure after this year’s event was hailed a resounding success by organisers and those involved in it. Otago University Students’ Association marketing and communications co-ordinator Alasdair Johnston said between 3000 and 3500 had attended the event, which resulted in fewer arrests and paramedic treatment than last year’s party. Ten people were arrested for minor behavioural offending during the day.
      Read more

      █ Great photos by Craig Baxter at ODT Slideshow

      • Russell Garbutt

        It must have been just bad timing when I drove up the street past Hyde Street to see an obviously drunk young male being questioned by about 4 cops while alongside an inert female was being wrapped in gold foil by ambulance staff while on a stretcher.

      • ### dunedintv.co.nz April 14, 2014 – 6:57pm
        Hyde Street Keg Party a sea of colour
        Dunedin’s Hyde Street keg party was a sea of colour on Saturday, with more than 3,000 dressed-up students attending. Police, pilots and superheroes were just some of the costumes. However, despite an official invitation, the Duke and Duchess failed to make an appearance.

  13. More on the civil disorder front at Studentville. A heck of a lot of (emergency service) sirens on Sunday night as well.

    Firefighters were kept busy with furniture fires. From 9pm on Saturday to 3am yesterday they attended five in the student area.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 12 May 2014
    Bottle-throwers ‘cowards in the dark’
    By Timothy Brown
    Party-goers who threw bottles at Dunedin police have been labelled ”cowards in the dark”. Three students were arrested after a large party in Castle St North on Saturday, Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said. […] Police attended several alcohol-fuelled incidents in the area and a 17-year-old labourer was arrested for disorder.
    Read more

  14. Elizabeth

    [Health and Safety: Endangerment]

    Noise control officers from Armourguard had issued more than 450 excessive noise directions and made almost 60 seizures so far this year.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 16 May 2014
    Fines reinforce noise control measures
    By Timothy Brown
    Noise control officers will be expensive party guests under a new Dunedin City Council policy. The council says it will impose fines of $500 on those who have their property seized after being issued with an excessive noise direction, council environmental health team leader Ros MacGill says. The fines would be in addition to the $56 charge for seizures and $26 per day for storage at present, she said.
    Read more


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    A Harder Stance on Noise Complaints

    This item was published on 15 May 2014

    Following the excessive noise and associated violence at a Castle Street address last weekend, the Dunedin City Council has decided to take a harder line with noise complaints. Now, if noise equipment is seized, the responsible person will be charged $56 for the cost of the seizure and $26 per day for storage and an infringement fine of $500 may also be imposed.

    DCC Environmental Health Team Leader Ros MacGill says, “Our Noise Control Officers have noted that parties are getting considerably larger and therefore it is more difficult to manage the situation when we are called out. This is having an effect on the health and safety of these staff. We have also noted that the speaker equipment appears to be getting bigger – this obviously leads to more noise and a greater likelihood of complaints from nearby residents.”

    The DCC takes all residents’ comfort and safety seriously and is concerned at the increasing number of noise complaints, particularly in the north end of the city, and the escalating violence and disregard for enforcement officers – Police and Noise Control as well as emergency services. The DCC encourages people who are planning a party to consider their neighbours to reduce the likelihood of complaints. This can be as simple as a visit to advise of the party and when it is likely to end and giving neighbours the party organiser’s phone number so they can call if the noise become problematic – this may prevent the escalation to Noise Control.

    Contact DCC Environmental Health Team Leader on 03 477 4000.
    DCC Link

  15. Elizabeth

    The temporary ban would cover most Orientation Week events at the stadium, two Highlanders matches and three Cricket World Cup fixtures at nearby University Oval.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 30 Jan 2015
    Dry zone wanted in stadium area
    By Chris Morris
    Concerns about a cocktail of booze, students and the Cricket World Cup have prompted Dunedin police to seek a temporary alcohol ban in the area around Forsyth Barr Stadium. The request, if approved, would see streets around the stadium, the University Oval cricket ground and Logan Park declared alcohol-free from February 17-28.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Anyone found consuming alcohol inside the prohibited area would be asked to tip out their alcohol. [something not very green about this]

      ### ODT Online Tue, 3 Feb 2015
      Tipping out liquor gets DCC nod
      A temporary liquor ban around Forsyth Barr Stadium has won the support of the Dunedin City Council. Councillors at yesterday’s full council meeting voted to approve the temporary ban, covering streets around the stadium, the University Oval cricket ground and Logan Park from February 17-28. The temporary ban would cover most Orientation Week events at the stadium, two Highlanders matches and three Cricket World Cup fixtures at nearby University Oval. Alcohol would still be served inside the venues.
      Read more

      N. Dunedin liquor ban
      • February 17-28
      • Covering Forsyth Barr Stadium, University Oval and surrounding streets.
      • In force during Cricket World Cup, Orientation Week and two Highlanders matches.

  16. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 4 Feb 2015
    Liquor ban split into two
    By Chris Morris
    The temporary liquor ban planned for around Forsyth Barr Stadium and the University Oval will be split in two, after a councillor raised concerns about its legality. The ban was to run from February 17 to February 28, covering a combination of the Cricket World Cup, Orientation Week and Super 15 rugby events at the two Dunedin venues. However, the timing had since been split in two, with the ban now planned to run from February 17-22, and then February 26-27.
    Read more

  17. Gurglars

    Following on from Elizabeth Nightinggale’s story above, here is what can happen to a naive first year student over indulging in either alcohol or party pills. An innocent young lady in trouble mentally and a predatory rich bastard with no moral compass from at least his father! A sobering thought now as my daughter spent four years at Otago U!


    • Elizabeth

      Not at an uncommon story and most of the time it happens at home by someone the girl or boy knows, or indeed the woman or the man.

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