Octagon mud

Octagon 2Council reaps us what it sows

It comes to pass that the CBD’s most-used symbolic gathering place, The Octagon, carrying a cluster of historic buildings, the city’s public art museum, our main performance theatre (Regent), a cinema multiplex under redevelopment, shop and office buildings, the Athenaeum building on the comeback through new stewardship, the impressive St Paul’s Cathedral, the stately Municipal Chambers and Town Hall complex, the seat of local government administration (Civic Centre), and a slightly down-at-heels landscaped wide open space at the junction of surveyor Charles Kettle’s two main arterial roads (Princes/George Streets and Stuart Street), also takes a bevy of drinking bars and night spots that make a strong contribution to central city nighttime violence, disorder, and lack of public safety.

The Craft Bar homicide and the connected serious assault investigations started last weekend point up the Dunedin City Council’s lack of urban design and planning vigilance in Health and Safety matters.

This tied to recent years of lobbying by the Octagon bar owners on licensing and trading hours and conditions, sometimes tied to hosting after-match wakes for Stadium sport and events (even although major events at the stadium are tapering, as predicted), unsupported youth, gang sqirmishes, under-resourced local police, and society’s access to cut-price alcohol and its liberal use (pre-loading and regular binging) alongside other substance abuse, means the Octagon is devolving into a hell-hole of collective making – not dissimilar to what happened at Cathedral Square in Christchurch before the quakes.

What will the city council do to mitigate the situation, and how soon can we restore the space to 24/7 safety for all? Is this even possible with the cluster of ‘intemperance’ bars and no push for building owners to move to greater diversity in mixed ground floor tenanting on the lower Octagon? One way or another “Party Central” has to fold – changing the pattern of ground tiles will not suffice.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull speaks volumes when he says, at times, he does not feel comfortable near the Octagon.

ODT Editorial: Personal responsibility key (30.4.14)
Knowing Dunedin is one of the most statistically safest cities in New Zealand will bring no solace to the families involved in the tragic death of Ryan Court at the weekend. Read more

Related ODT stories:
30.4.14 Arrest after Octagon assault
30.4.14 Progress made in assault inquiry
29.4.14 ‘A good man’ mourned
29.4.14 Man hospitalised after Octagon assault
28.4.14 Bottle assault follows bar death
28.4.14 Names released after death at city bar
28.4.14 Arrest follows death at city bar
27.4.14 Man in custody over Octagon bar death

ODT ‘Booze Control: Stop and Think’ series:
Excessive drinking changes the way people act
30.1.14 Education fails, professor says
29.1.14 South’s alcohol statistics worst
28.1.14 Delicate balancing act over licensing
27.1.14 Still a ‘very safe community’
25.1.14 Time to clean up act over alcohol
25.1.14 The cold, naked truth about nightlife

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Heritage, Hot air, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

71 responses to “Octagon mud

  1. The Octagon is a shite place to visit during the day, but I will never go through it at night!

  2. Gavin

    Elizabeth forgot to add, Tourist bus depot and cone cluttered eyesore

    • Thanks Gavin – you’re perfectly right.
      And I particularly detest the appearance of the i-site in Princes Street and the cruise ship bus nonsense (many of us want that transport hub relocated to the Railway Station).

      Obviously, there are all sorts of cone situations arising at Octagon around events management and some flexibility should be tolerated by us – but I’m yet to conveniently find the location of replacement commuter bus stops when the cones stop Octagon through-traffic, since ORC never puts signs/maps up at ‘temporarily dead’ bus stops. Hopelessly infuriating when bus users are on tight schedules.

  3. Whippet

    This was once a family gathering base for all ages. Then in the last 15 years or so, our city councillors of the time have let it become what it is today and night. The responsibility for all the carnage that has developed over these last 15 years lies fairly and squarely at the feet of our councillors, some who have profited very nicely from the booze industry. If it is not a safe place to be at night, then the council like the Government and the legal highs, can change it overnight. Where are your balls, Dave?

  4. ### dunedintv.co.nz April 30, 2014 – 6:17pm
    Refit under way on Reading cinema complex
    The company that took over when the Hoyts Octagon Cinema closed its doors last August is hiring staff and beginning a refit.

  5. Good news.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz May 13, 2014 – 7:17pm
    Ratbags’ special license declined
    The Dunedin District Licensing Committee has declined an application by the owners of the Ratbags bar.

  6. Elizabeth

    Application declined on the grounds “the planning of the events did not take into account the high risk location of the premises and the potential for problems associated with the closure of nearby premises at 4am”.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 14 May 2014
    Bar denied licence for World Cup games
    By Rebecca Fox
    An application for a special licence to open Octagon bar Ratbags to screen Fifa World Cup games has been turned down. Owners Grant and Phil Ellis applied to open the bar for World Cup matches, kicking off at 4am and 7am, to cater for football fans throughout the tournament, which runs from June 13 to July 14.
    Read more

  7. OK so it’s fine to spend millions of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars on road changes for the outstandingly minimal number of cyclists in Dunedin (!!!!) – then it’s fine to shut a ‘heart of city’ throughfare to vehicles (having not offered anything and certainly not full market value compensation to affected building and business owners) while two unexperienced students play sillybuggers with our city form and activity. All because DCC wants bar culture to presume across from the Town Hall. Yes it does. That is, people pouring poison down their gullets on a regular basis – not to get ‘happy’, to get fully rolling drunk and or dangerous (preying on their victims)… with the ratepayers picking up the tab for street clean up, while the police and emergency services stand idly by in their smart little uniforms with ambulances at bottom of cliff.

    We are not talking responsible drinking here. We are talking DCC needing a flaming court case from affected property and business owners. Head to Head.

    Oh, we each need cycles, apparently, as much as we need a swill hole at Octagon.
    DCC engineers the end of the earth as it knows it.

    I note the ODT has stories today that carry in their formatting the perception of positive bias to a no-cars area. They placed the story about police and ambulance support for road stopping prominently, online. Then they attached a PRO-SPEECH BUBBLE illustration to a mixed public reaction story. Obviously the road closure isn’t going to happen outside Allied Press Ltd’s buildings.

    28.5.14 Reaction to no-car area discordant
    28.5.14 Police endorse Octagon closure

    17.5.14 Council pushes ahead pedestrian only city centre zone plan
    13.5.14 [DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15] Positive response to pedestrian precinct

    Comment at ODT Online:

    Ruined Saturday night
    Submitted by loulou22 on Mon, 19/05/2014 – 2:47pm.
    I am in my early twenties and was out on Saturday night in the Octagon celebrating a birthday, but the night was completely ruined by drunken idiots. Many of which were first year uni students as i heard a lot of them talking about which hall they were from. Satuday was chaos, never have Iseen the Octagon so bad, it was out of control and police presence wasnt doing much. The level of intoxication of most people was disgusting and many were trying to start fights, vomiting everywhere and there were ambulances at the bars by 12am. I actually had to check the news on Sunday morning because i was sure something must have happened and that’s when I read about the fatal crash.
    They need to raise the drinking age to 20 or 21, it’s just getting ridiculous.


  8. ej kerr responds to latest from proponents… at risk of being abridged, the old fish attempts to sort her addled thoughts, but here’s the nurse bringing medication before we all sit up for tea.

    GenZero – http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/303799/police-endorse-octagon-closure#comment-57668

    Road stopping: public debate
    Submitted by ej kerr on Wed, 04/06/2014 – 5:24pm.
    A point or two missed. Sadly, not everyone is engaged with their council’s annual plan process through submissions (or as part of an official lobby body or academic exercise) or reads this newspaper (broadsheet and digital) – as news of a re-envisioning for our collectively owned city centre eeks out.

    ej kerr (user name) is grateful to the youthful proponents for their warm inclusive reply that avoids being condescending or disrespectful to one’s advancing years, frailty and ignorance of council matters/processes.

    The question for the community is that the proponents and their circle of young friends fervently seek to stop the lower Octagon and part of lower Stuart St, to create more space for alcohol consumption and public disorder of a night, or not. There are potential compensations for the council to consider. 

    In batting the idea back and forth, last week I joined the local temperance movement to avoid being picked off. In hindsight, this was overzealous – the writers’ olive branch encourages the hunt for a back foot of mine that still works.

    Dears, I confess to never using the DCC website except, in solace, to check the cemetery records of friends and six generations of family passed from this world. The rest is too busy.

    Individuals, businesses, and organisations affected by the proposal are far from limited to those trading each day in the immediate vicinity of the stopping. Of that, this grey-haired curmudgeon is very sure. Oh, for a plain sense button before the cemeteries database. Thank you.

  9. The newspaper gave me my head (unabridged). Owing to deep surprise I now find myself in an ambulance to the hospital’s ED, with chest pains. McPravda and I ride again.


  10. Elizabeth

    Bec does a great job describing why NOT to pedestrianise the lower Octagon and part of lower Stuart St – socks it to the two student proponents (and therefore the horrid Generation Zero lobby):


    Others are starting to speak out.
    Love ya Dunedin!

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Agreed, it’s a great post from Bec! It’s good to see the approving responses, among which is one from Speedfreak43 who came up with this chocolate fish-worthy observation: “Sadly, this council along with a couple of previous councils work on the “Fix it til it’s broken” attitude”.

  12. Elizabeth

    Another item of mayhem, this time at Stuart St:

    ### ODT Online Mon, 23 Jun 2014
    Woman hurt in bar assault
    A woman has received facial injuries in an unprovoked assault in a central city bar. Police say the woman was assaulted by an unknown person in the Suburbia bar in Stuart St, about 2.30am yesterday.
    Read more

  13. Elizabeth

    ODT on Ch39 TV tonight
    [my words] Now the bastard-greenie-fuckwit-fruitcakes at DCC want to calm the freaking Octagon (CARLESS).

    Read tomorrow’s ODT. The fight is on.

    Cycling in Dunedin, with our challenging terrain and climate, will become more and more fraught… Let common sense prevail, and may Cr Calvert keep asking questions.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Jul 2014
    Let car common sense prevail over cycling
    By Jack Crawford
    Scene 1: Imagine if you can, the bustling city of Dunedin, circa 2014, in a parallel universe. Henry Ford was born only 20 years ago, and flats in Hyde St. The motorcar has not been invented and the citizens flail sweatily about the streets on a motley collection of bicycles. Some ride horses, and the streets are sticky with sludgy dung.
    Scene 2: Dunedin Hospital: New wards were opened only last month, in a facility that now spreads across five city blocks. The winter has not yet set in but already there are record numbers of cycling-related admissions to the wards – with broken bones, split heads, pleurisy and pneumonia.
    Read more

    ● Dunedin resident Jack Crawford is a former chairman of the Otago District Council of the AA.

    • Elizabeth

      No DCC mention of financial compensation to affected property owners, businesses, transport operators and other organisations.

      Glen Hazelton’s report, to be considered at today’s planning and regulatory committee meeting, outlined the steps to be followed before a trial of the lower Octagon and lower Stuart St closure could be considered.

      Cr Lee Vandervis said the proposed trial “seems to be driven currently by an uncomfortable mix of Octagon pub managers and greenie car un-enthusiasts”.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 24 Jul 2014
      Councillors walking a fine line
      By Chris Morris
      Battle lines are emerging as Dunedin city councillors prepare to consider another step towards the pedestrianisation of parts of the city. Councillors will today consider a staff report with recommendations that, if approved, will take the city another step closer to trialling the closure of the lower Octagon and lower Stuart St to vehicles. But councillors spoken to by the Otago Daily Times appeared divided over the moves already afoot, which included early work that could lead to pedestrianisation in other parts of the city.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Thu, 24 Jul 2014
      Planners treading new path
      By Chris Morris
      Turning part of Dunedin’s Octagon into a car-free zone could be just the start of a wider push to make the central city more pedestrian-friendly, council staff say. As councillors prepared to discuss the proposed trial of a vehicle-free lower Octagon and lower Stuart St again this afternoon, a staff report noted work was already under way that could eventually see other parts of the city following suit. The report, by council acting urban design team leader [NO URBAN DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE OR DESIGN QUALIFICATIONS OR FROMAL ACCREDITATION – is a policy planner, this is SO not the same] Glen Hazelton, said the council and its stakeholders were already working on a business case for a new central city accessibility and safety upgrade.
      Read more

      Report – PRC – 24/07/2014 (PDF, 877.4 KB)
      Options to Trial Pedestrianisation in Lower Octagon and Lower Stuart Street – Proposed Process


      ### dunedin.co.nz July 24, 2014 – 6:04pm
      Pedestrianisation trial could see lower Octagon closed to traffic
      The Dunedin City Council is considering whether to close part of the Octagon to traffic, as part of a pedestrianisation trial.

  14. Elizabeth

    The winners are: Crs Bezett, Whiley, Vandervis and Hall.

    As for the tossers…

    Trial roads closure a step closer

    Cr Bezett said the ”quite aggressive” recommendation already implied the trial was going to happen, regardless of the views of businesses yet to be consulted. (ODT)

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    There used to be boring clunks in town, often at corners where as a pedestrian I had to wait for the lights to change. These were the banks, majestic edifices but no interesting window displays. Now there are bars and clubs too, many of them closed during daytime. Vibrant? No, not for pedestrians, not for people who aren’t out in the evenings looking for a place to drink. The lower Octagon has several bars and cafes that are open in the daytime, but it’s still not all that interesting, it’s just a place to get past on one’s way to somewhere else if one isn’t eating and drinking. Perhaps the road closure idea is aimed at those who want to go to bars and cafes, not for the benefit of the rest of us.

  16. Elizabeth

    So Glen’s in Russian bulldozer mode. A handy friend on staff for bully boy BP (aka Bendin’ Grope) and weak-kneed Daaave to ride the coat tails of.

  17. Committee chair Cr ‘Heavyweight’ Benson-Pope is pushing the proposal, why, is anyone’s guess. If he and the supporters think it will enhance business then we’ll just have to wait and see. If it results in closures as Cr Bezett hints, how then can it be reversed? Fits the “for all actions there are hidden consequences, some good, some bad”. ‘Heavyweight’ Benson-Pope should know about hidden consequences if anybody does.

  18. Elizabeth

    Getting Bendin’ Grope off the streets and out of the city council would be the ultimate sterilisation, er for public sanitation.

    David Benson-Pope [dunedintv.co.nz] 1David Benson-Pope [dunedintv.co.nz]

    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 25, 2014 – 6:55pm
    Dirty Dunedin streets an issue for local councilman
    The cleanliness of Dunedin has been brought into question. The issue has come up at a meeting of the Dunedin City Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee. And contrary to what staff are used to – it wasn’t a member of the public complaining.

    • Elizabeth

      ODT poster boy:

      Images of dirty city unsettle councillors
      Dunedin city councillor David Benson-Pope feels sick about street vomit in Dunedin – and now he has the pictures to prove it.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### dunedintv.co.nz July 30, 2014 – 5:50pm
        Your word on the cleanliness of Dunedin streets
        Last week one city councillor described Dunedin’s inner city streets as filthy. He says the lack of cleanliness paints a poor picture of Dunedin for visitors and something needs to change. So the 39 Dunedin News Word on the Street team went to George Street to ask people if they’re satisfied with the cleanliness of the CBD.

  19. ‘Heavyweight lifter’ Benson-Pope takes umbrage at ‘dirty city’. Then it’s true that his mind is preoccupied with dirt. That he feels sick is a revelation and can only bode well for the city centre. He could try stuffing tennis balls into whatever orifice is suitable to the offenders. It might work.

  20. Elizabeth

    Received from Paul Pope
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 at 2:20 p.m.

    With the proposals for changes in the Octagon I wrote this for the Society. Your readers might find it interesting. The link is below.

    The Octagonal Heart
    In the 2014 Annual Plan deliberations a proposal to create part of the Octagon and lower Stuart Street into a pedestrian precinct was submitted by two Otago University students. That plan has gained momentum within the City Council, with the announcement of an investigation into developing the idea as a trial. Now in July Councillors have requested Council staff report back on October 28, with public consultation to follow and a final decision to be made in January 2015. The development of the Octagon as a pedestrian precinct is not a new proposal and has been debated in Dunedin on a number of occasions.
    Read more at http://dunedin-amenities-society.org.nz/2014/07/25/the-octagonal-heart/

    Paul Pope
    Website Editor

    The Dunedin Amenities Society established in 1888 is New Zealand’s oldest environmental society.

    Visit our website http://www.dunedin-amenities-society.org.nz
    Follow the Society on Twitter
    Visit the Society on Facebook

  21. Elizabeth

    So the bar owners opt to defend their businesses using social media and more to bulk up submissions to DCC from the care-less student drinking population and others. Responsible hosts? Let’s approve binge drinking because that’s what ‘The People’ want to do with their lives. Let’s kill brain cells. How to wreck the University’s domestic and international reputation, let young deadheads speak… Mayor Cull – you freaking idiot.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 11 Oct 2014
    Massive response to DCC alcohol plan
    By Debbie Porteous
    Plans to bring forward the 4am closing time of Dunedin bars have sparked the highest number of submissions to the Dunedin City Council for any issue in years. More than 4000 submissions on the council’s draft local alcohol plan (Lap) were received by the deadline yesterday, prompting Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull to praise the response as ”democracy in action”.
    Read more


    Meanwhile, not far away at the Botanic Garden, immature mongrels yelp…

    …they [students] felt a crackdown on times when they were allowed to drink in university-run halls, the closure of student bars, and price of alcohol in town meant they had little choice. “Blame the university,” one of them said.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 11 Oct 2014
    Boozing up in the ‘botans’
    By Vaughan Elder
    More students than ever are drinking in the shadows of Dunedin Botanic Gardens at night, leaving its staff to clean up the mess the morning after. Tertiary education reporter Vaughan Elder and photographer Gerard O’Brien ventured out to see what happens in the gardens after dark.
    Read more

    • The rule of ‘possum’: “You can’t come down till you’re finished’. Ye cannae come doon! Why? Is the student spirit shackled and determined by Regle de jeu? Break all rules. Rebel. Note no Humanities students reportedly in the botans.

  22. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz October 10, 2014 – 5:58pm
    Draft local alcohol policy submissions close
    More than 4,000 submissions have been lodged with the Dunedin City Council, in relation to its draft local alcohol policy. The consultation period for residents to have their say on proposed law changes ended at 5pm. And now the next stage of the process is under way.

  23. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sun, 7 Dec 2014
    Police officers injured in Octagon attack
    Two Dunedin police officers were violently attacked while breaking up a fight in the Octagon this morning. Police said the male and female officers were responding to a fight between two men about 4am.
    Read more

  24. Elizabeth

    ### DT Online Tue, 9 Dec 2014
    Octagon ‘intimidating’ at weekends – police
    By Timothy Brown
    The Octagon presents an intimidating environment for police and the public at 4am, police say. Community relations co-ordinator Sergeant Steve Aitken says the contempt for police is ”quite palpable” during some weekends in Dunedin’s nightlife hub.
    Read more

  25. Elizabeth


    Police did not know the occupancy limit of each of the city’s bars and relied on what the duty manager told them at each visit.

    Carousel operator John Devereux admitted regularly breaching the second-storey bar’s maximum occupancy of 50 people – in place because of risks of having only one exit.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 7 Apr 2015
    Police want end to bar overcrowding
    By Vaughan Elder
    Dunedin police are calling for action to prevent potentially deadly overcrowding at city bars. Alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Ian Paulin said last week’s district licensing committee hearing for Dunedin’s Carousel bar highlighted the problems with the current system.
    Read more

  26. Elizabeth

    An older comment from another thread:

    Submitted on 2011/02/04 at 7:19 pm

    I obviously have a different view of the risk/reward curve than some of the local “entrepreneurs”. I heard a comment this week that the fitout at Carousel was around $2 million, so the up-front cost is not unheard of for Dunedin.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 27 Apr 2015
    Bar owner given 90 days to find way to resolve capacity problem
    By Vaughan Elder
    A Dunedin bar owner in trouble for repeated overcrowding at his inner-city bar has been given a reprieve by the Dunedin district licensing committee. The licence for the Carousel bar in Stuart St had been opposed over the ”suitability” of its operator, John Devereux, in relation to his response to overcrowding and an assault on the premises, with a hearing held earlier this month. In its decision, committee secretary Kevin Mechen said it would give the ”benefit of the doubt” and adjourn the matter for 90 days while Mr Devereux investigated options to increase the bar’s capacity by putting in another exit.
    Read more

  27. Elizabeth

    First, we heard about closure for 5 months of refurbishment, now The End.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 2 Jun 2015
    Dunedin’s Ra Bar to close
    By Shawn McAvinue
    The Ra Bar in central Dunedin has announced tonight it is “closing forever” after 18 years. “After 18 memorable years here at Ra Bar we are closing our doors for the very last time this weekend!” the Octagon bar announced on its Facebook page about 6pm.
    Read more

    Time for different tenancies at Octagon, but nah, probably another bar to go in.

  28. Phil

    Kevin Mechen’s role confuses me. He is the secretary for the district licensing committee who makes recommendations of licensing decisions. But he is also in charge of the DCC liquor licensing officers, employed by the DCC, who give submissions to the licensing committee as part of the approvals process. Am I reading incorrectly what appears to have been a major conflict of interest for years now ? Same question applies re Glen Hazelton (?) who also seems to represent both developers and Council, depending on the occasion.

  29. Anonymous

    Dunedin City Council will not listen to complaints of conflict of interest. There are many others. CEO and Governance Officer should be hauled over coals.

  30. Elizabeth

    Sat, 30 Apr 2016
    ODT: Fire exit padlock shocks officer
    A padlocked fire exit above Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant in the Octagon had potentially fatal consequences, a senior firefighter says.
    Two fire crews responded to what turned out to be a false alarm at the address about 4.30pm yesterday but found a padlocked emergency exit. Senior Station Officer Pete Douglas, of Dunedin, said had it not been a false alarm,”it wouldn’t have been pretty”. “Anybody that’s living in a building like this, it is illegal to lock or padlock fire exit doors,” he said. Both the wine bar and the downstairs Mac’s Brew Bar had patrons on the premises at the time of the alarm.

    Holy shit, batman. 12 The Octagon (cnr lower Stuart St)
    Rates ID: http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/services/rates-information/rates?ratingID=357535

    █ The building owner(s) and the so-called cool operators at #DUD Octagon are plenty willing to risk people’s lives – by not installing building security measures that allow safe (unimpeded) fire egress.

    Not eating or tippling at these establishments EVER again.
    They are off the menu.

    The ratepayer/building owner(s):
    (ironically named!) Pay Attention Limited

    Directors (2):
    Lauchlan Andrew CHISHOLM – 115 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central 9016
    Gregory John PATERSON – 42 Glengyle Street, Vauxhall, Dunedin 9013

    Why am I not surprised.

    • ab

      Oh pshaw to Bacchus. They kicked me out years ago for stipulating Kumeu vintage. No one gets Bacchanalian, either. Even the Bacchae, a group of Dionysian women, need not call there.

  31. Elizabeth


    Mon, 2 May 2016
    ODT: Stabbing: ‘What is this place coming to?’
    The stabbing of a 21-year-old man in central Dunedin early yesterday has left the man who rushed to his aid questioning the state of his city. Detective Sergeant Chris Henderson said the victim was taken to Dunedin Hospital after being stabbed in the neck and back outside the The Bottle-O store on the corner of Princes St and Moray Pl about 3.30am.


    DUNEDIN IS UP THERE (2015 statistics)

    ### newshub.co.nz Mon, 2 May 2016 at 4:45 p.m.
    NZ’s most violent city spots revealed
    By Lisa Owen
    A Newshub investigation has revealed Auckland neighbourhoods dominate a leaderboard of the most violent city hot spots in the country. Statistics New Zealand has mapped 2015 police crime data, released to Newshub under the Official Information Act, to show the areas with the highest number of assaults, sexual assaults and robberies in public places. The crimes include anything from rape to being beaten up or being robbed of your cellphone at knife-point. Three of the five most violent city areas (precincts where there are more than 3000 residents) are in Auckland’s CBD. […] *By overlaying population data in the zones where crime has occurred, Statistics NZ has been able to work out the national average for incidents of public place violence. *Article uses 2015 statistics of victimisations by assault, sexual assault and robbery in public places.
    Read more + VIDEO

    █ Dunedin = No. 7 on New Zealand’s top ten most violent city hot spots
    The only South Island hotspot, the area running north from the Octagon.
    Dunedin_violence_low_02_05_7 [newshub.co.nz]Newshub

  32. Hype O'Thermia

    Isn’t it fabulous! One of the reasons for building the Fubar Stadium was that it would put Dunedin on the map. It did, there were reports of terrible sound quality for the first years, and periodic mentions by RNZ talk-session people of the huge debt, usually in a semi-humorous throwaway line. There were the council cars (what cars? We don’t see any cars, oh, you mean there SHOULD be cars or money, huh?) and flooding and mayoral statements and hospital food and … gee whiz we’re on the national map so often I lose count! Now we’re only 36 violent attacks behind Palmerston North!

    Dunedin – it’s all right here!
    No, sorry, that was before.
    Before Jimbo Harlz, before Farry, before those who must not be named. Doesn’t it date from the days when our city’s debt was equal to 5 middle-class kids’ pocket money?

    • Elizabeth

      Reputation for public place violence leading right to doors of Stadium is (almost) hilarious. The irony for uh, ‘urban design’ is huge. Safe city? Safer city?
      Unsafe one horse cow town —loser stadium town, I mean. The numbers don’t lie.

  33. Hype O'Thermia

    Sustainably violent fossil-fuel-free city.
    I like a catchy slogan, I do.

  34. Calvin Oaten

    Hype, it’s not the fossils that are violent (except for the odd rugby nutter) it’s the fuel called alcohol sold nearly 24/7 to the young folk.

  35. Elizabeth


    ### dunedintv.co.nz Friday, May 6, 2016
    Dunedin in top 10 assault & robbery lists
    Dunedin has made the top ten lists for the highest ratio of public assaults and robberies in main urban areas. There were 261 cases of assault, sexual assault and robbery in public parts of the CBD last year. The area between Stuart and Frederick streets was the fourth worst in the country out of main urban areas with populations of 3000 or more. That’s based on the number of victims per 10,000 people. The area between Stuart and High streets was the tenth worst among main urban areas with populations of less than 3000. On average there was one assault or robbery victim for every 22 people in the CBD last year.
    Ch39 Video

  36. Elizabeth

    Police and DCC blame alcohol for the majority of violence.

    Sat, 7 May 2016
    Octagon centre of violence
    Streets surrounding the Octagon in Dunedin are among the most violent crime hot spots in the country, statistics suggest. […] Listed for cities with more than 30,000 people are the area north of the Octagon from Stuart St to Frederick St and south of the Octagon from High St to Stuart St. Together, they accounted for 261 assaults, sexual assaults or robberies last year.

  37. Elizabeth

    But this is different and disturbing.

    Some men adding to the Stats they saw on TV ? Is Dunedin “the city” the Sociopaths and Psychopaths come to, to pluck a young female into the car with plans of finishing her off ?

    Mon, 9 May 2016
    ODT: Abduction attempt ‘potentially very serious’
    An 18-year-old woman managed to fight her way out of a station wagon in North Dunedin during an attempted abduction involving two offenders at the weekend. […] Senior Sergeant Ian Temple, of Dunedin, said that police viewed the matter as a “potentially very serious” incident.

    █ Contact Dunedin police 03 471 4800 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111


    Group keen to keep retail out of the warehouse precinct.

    Mon, 9 May 2016
    ODT: Push to liven up ‘dowdy’ George St
    A new group of central Dunedin retailers and building owners plans to drag the spotlight back to a George St shopping precinct it says is “very dowdy and tired and underinvested in”. The group plans to hire a manager, run events and lobby the Dunedin City Council to invest in the area from the Octagon to Frederick St, including St Andrew St.

    • Elizabeth

      OK. Good it didn’t happen.
      BUT it doesn’t help the community at large who are trying to make safe streets in the Tertiary Campus Area….

      Tue, 17 May 2016
      ODT: Woman made up abduction story
      An 18-year-old woman who claimed to be the victim of an abduction attempt in North Dunedin made the incident up, police say. The Otago Daily Times reported police saying a woman managed to fight her way out of a station wagon during an attempted abduction involving two offenders in Forth St on May 7.

  38. Elizabeth

    Editor says: “Dunedin, in a wonderful period of economic and population growth, is blossoming into a genuinely envied destination.”

    Um. Do we live in the same one-horse tumbleweed cow town (enjoying half the rate of growth the rest of NZ has), I must be imagining all those empty retail and warehouse spaces throughout the city and the dirty streets with all those unused cycleways if any of those are built and working ? ? ? Editor sounds euphoric.

    Mon, 16 May 2016
    ODT Editorial: Heart bigger than George St
    A promising addition to Dunedin’s revival was announced last week – the Heart of Dunedin group. Formed and funded by a collection of George St business and building owners, the group aims to drag the spotlight back to a George St shopping precinct it says is dowdy, tired and in need of investment. […] Surely the George St retail area’s path to solidifying itself as Dunedin’s premiere shopping zone lies in adapting itself, not limiting the adaption occurring elsewhere.

    • Calvin Oaten

      ODT 17.5.16 (page 22). Conferences worth tens of millions to city, council told A bigger line of “balderdash” I’ve yet to come across. The Economic Development Committee was told by tourism events advisor Bree Jones of the work council entity Enterprise Dunedin was doing to help attract international conferences to the city. She fails to mention that the Conference Centre upgrade cost the ratepayers around $50million in debt, on the basis that in 2015 it would host some 36 conferences. This, according to a report commissioned by Horwaths. The fact there was just around a dozen events in 2015 seems to have eluded Ms Jones in her effusive claims of conferences worth to the city. Cr Jinty MacTavish got on her “carbon” horse when she asked if Enterprise Dunedin included information about local ‘carbon offsetting’ and ‘volunteer tourism’ in its advertising material aimed at attracting conferences to the city. This is the sort of ‘crap’ that goes down as business of council at these meetings paid for by the ratepayers. That there is a serious need for a clean out and restructure of that building is screamingly obvious and should have voters incensed come October when the opportunity to send most of the useless sods endorsing this type of behaviour packing. But will it?

      • Elizabeth

        Will need to shout it loudly, Calvin!
        Dunedin people so hate a ruckus. Or to think DCC is not fiscally pure.
        Council debt, what DEBT.

  39. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth, “all those empty retail and warehouse spaces” demonstrate Dunedin’s place as a leader in sustainability. Every occupied shop and warehouse is using lightbulbs – non-recyclable! Of the people who work in them only a small percentage walk or cycle to work. And so on. Every empty commercial space is a triumph for a Greener Dunedin! Be proud instead of criticising.

  40. Gurglars

    unfortunately the nom de-plume DUD is at present extremely accurate.

    Four acronyms define Dunedin

    Pap – SDHB food with no moral compass

    Dud- All efforts of the DCC

    Cul- Climate change is responsible for almost everything but the theft of 152+ cars

    One- the number of persons aware involved including counting, delivery, paper falsifying and other practices involved in the thefts, conversion, and sale of said cars.

    JH- knew enough about these practices to get cheap or free tyres for his company car an Alfa Romeo, but not enough for the police to investigate him.

    Where the hell is justice in Dunedin?

    • @Gurglars
      May 16, 2016 at 7:48 pm
      You say: “unfortunately the nom de-plume DUD is at present extremely accurate.

      And “Cul- Climate change is responsible for almost everything but the theft of 152+ cars”

      I say:

      Cull = cul de sac – Equalling Dead End. How appropriate. And we should ensure that he gets the last part – but with a ‘k’

  41. Elizabeth

    Thu, 19 May 2016
    ODT: Police seek three people over Princes St stabbing
    Police are seeking three people in relation to a recent stabbing in Dunedin. A 21-year-old man was stabbed in the neck and back outside the The Bottle-O store on the corner of Princes St and Moray Pl on May 1.


    Wed, 18 May 2016
    ODT: Fear over taxi rank violence
    A Dunedin man who witnessed what he says are “absolutely outrageous” scenes of disorder and violence at the Octagon taxi rank wants something done about the matter. He has called for a barrier system at the rank, and security guards in place before somebody gets seriously hurt.

    • Tom

      If you want to get rid of the disorder in the Octagon. It is not the Taxi rank that needs removing, but the booze shops. Dunedin people need to take back their Octagon and kick the booze barons out.

      • Elizabeth

        I’ve always hated the line up of bars (a total turn off), it’s not the friendly family environment that it should be – except for special events and then it works fairly well.

  42. Elizabeth

    Mon, 23 May 2016
    ODT: Seeking to solve taxi rank disorder
    The Dunedin City Council says it will seek answers to the issue of violence and disorder at a central city taxi stand. Deputy mayor Chris Staynes said he planned to organise a meeting with taxi companies to search for solutions to what a Dunedin man last week described as “absolutely outrageous” scenes at the Octagon taxi rank.

    • Elizabeth

      Tue, 7 Jun 2016
      ODT: Problem taxi rank shift likely
      The Octagon taxi rank at the centre of concerns over late-night violence appears set to shift to the centre carriageway at night, with better signs and closed-circuit TV camera coverage. This follows a meeting last week between deputy mayor Chris Staynes and taxi company managers.

  43. ab

    The putative customers are rank, the rank is rank. J Arthur Rank was not.

  44. Elizabeth

    Lower Octagon, 153 Stuart St (formerly Metro Cafe & Bar)

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Fri, 27 May 2016
    Suburbia loses liquor licence
    Authorities are making no apology for shutting down part of an inner city bar after it was found to be grossly overcrowded at the weekend. Suburbia has had its liquor licence suspended by the Dunedin District Licensing Committee. It follows a request from local firefighters who were called to the nightclub early Sunday morning to find around 300 people at the premises. That’s almost double the bar’s capacity of 160. The suspension has reportedly come as a shock to the club owner, who’s claiming 100 of those people were outside the facility when the fire service attended. The matter may be subject to a hearing.
    Ch39 Link


    Fri, 27 May 2016
    ODT: Dunedin bar’s licence suspended
    The Dunedin District Licensing Committee suspended Suburbia’s liquor licence after a request from the Fire Service, which found it packed with 300 people when it was called to a fire alarm activation early on Sunday morning. […] The decision came as a shock to bar owner Ian Lindsay, who said last night he was yet to be informed of the suspension by the committee.

  45. Elizabeth

    Mon, 13 Jun 2016
    ODT: Arrest after Octagon assault
    Dunedin police have charged a 40-year-old man with assault after another man was left bleeding from the face in the Octagon this morning. The injured 45-year-old man was found near Alibi Bar and Restaurant about 9.20am and was transported to Dunedin Hospital by police.

  46. ab

    Better names for city bars: Uburbia, That U Eugene?, Utoxica Gait, Mistress Quickly (est. 1545).

  47. Elizabeth

    GO Regent Theatre !!!! Quite right.

    Wed, 15 Jun 2016
    ODT: Regent fears a clash of cultures in Octagon
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show patrons and supporters of the men in black could well mingle on Saturday week. The Dunedin City Council has called an extraordinary meeting next Monday to vote on the closure of the Octagon for the June 25 All Blacks-Wales test match, after the Regent Theatre opposed the road closure. Theatre management have raised concerns about the safety of its patrons – who are encouraged to dress in theme for the cult musical comedy The Rocky Horror Picture Show film – amid a crowd of rugby supporters.

  48. ab

    What are the rugby supporters encouraged to dress as, and where will they pick up the dress?

  49. Elizabeth

    Saturday, 13 August 2016
    ODT: Warehouse precinct plans threat, retailers say
    The battle lines have been drawn over the future of retail in Dunedin, as CBD landowners call for the Dunedin City Council to stop favouring the warehouse precinct. The fight for the future of the CBD played out at this week’s second generation district plan (2GP) hearings, where a group representing central city landowners said vacancies in the area could increase if the council allowed retail outlets in historic-listed buildings in the warehouse precinct.


    Sat, 13 Aug 2016
    ODT: Warehouse area claim ‘ridiculous’

  50. Elizabeth

    Add to that, Nothing has been done for Residential Heritage in the City Rise, an area that is Dunedin’s architectural signature and containing a very significant heritage legacy – including nationally outstanding properties. Many of which are not sufficiently protected from cash-cow landlords carving them up for outlandish rents from dipstick students who kick them apart.

    Something has got to change! Pronto – DCC is way behind the ball on residential heritage values despite reasonable deputations of concerned citizens.

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