Don’t for Chrissakes play down effects of liquor barons #DUD

Harlene Hayne [ 1]Did Harls jump on her media bandwagon over a wine or two after she watched Sunday TVNZ’s exposé on binge drinking at Dunedin (10 May).
The programme aired at 7:00 p.m. yesterday. The deadline for ODT’s Monday edition is 4:00 p.m. Sunday.
So did the Otago vice-chancellor see the programme before writing her opinion piece?
Well, not unless the ODT editor worked some sort of marvel of factory production.
Evidently, Harls conspired with the local newspaper to get her illuminatory thoughts in print today, of ALL DAYS. Chess as the television hoedown-showdown hits her university and the city council.

There is no doubt the footage was disturbing and there is no excuse for the kind of behaviour that was captured in those images. –Hayne

### ODT Online Mon, 11 May 2015
Alcohol law change overdue
By Harlene Hayne
OPINION The Sunday programme last night once again put the spotlight on the University of Otago for alcohol related harm. This time the focus was on the trouble that is caused by some rambunctious, messy and noisy students and other young people in North Dunedin and other parts of the community.
Read more


Dunedin is not alone.

DomPost 4.5.15 Editorial - student binging pA6

### Last updated 09:44, May 4 2015
Editorial: Student binging leaves a bad taste
Source: Dominion Post
OPINION Wellington is more of a student town than it used to be – thousands of tertiary students, attending various institutions, live here. They are a welcome economic boost for the city, and they also add to the life of the place: someone, for instance, has to fill up the city’s famously rich concentration of cafes and bars. By and large, Wellington has not had the trouble with students that some other cities have faced.

Most notoriously, Dunedin’s orientation weeks have often been drunken frenzies of flaming couches and showdowns with police. Wellington’s student body would be more happy with a “massive, street-wide wine and cheese evening”, one Otago wit quipped in 2012 after a particularly riotous Dunedin episode.

So it’s somewhat jarring to discover that, already this year, Victoria University has imposed total alcohol bans at four of its halls of residence after, in the case of the most recent one, excessive drinking, property damage and “overall unacceptable behaviour”. (Some bans have since been lifted).

That’s more than over-indulgence; it’s ugly, anti-social drinking that no-one needs as any kind of life highlight. There is a fine line to be walked here. Tertiary study is often associated with drinking, and some of that is just life – a product of young people leaving home, making decisions for themselves, and revelling in new freedoms. There is no point in being complete wowsers about this, any more than there is in adopting a puritan approach to drinking in New Zealand more generally. Alcohol can be a pleasure, an aide to camaraderie and relaxation. Yet, just as plainly, drinking can be dangerous and miserable – especially among the young. Consuming vast torrents of booze might seem like a game to beginners, but in fact it is hugely risky behaviour – for those who partake, for those who have some responsibility for them, and indeed for anyone they come into contact with.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
12.5.15 View Street, seen from Moray Place
11.5.15 Aftermath of Sunday TVNZ on ‘Party Central’
● 8.5.15 Sunday TVNZ #Dunedin —10 May TV1 at 7:00 pm
2.4.15 University rolls down, Harlene not the only problem….
28.3.15 University of Otago landscaping
22.3.15 University of Otago: More national and global publicity #HydeStreet
18.2.15 University of Otago: Toga Party 2015 #video
16.2.15 University of Otago can’t beat broadcast news and social media #image
8.5.14 Student Proof Carpet – New Zealand #video
15.2.14 University of Otago: Starter questions for Harlene

█ For more, enter the terms *university*, *harlene*, *alcohol*, *publicity*, *hyde*, *party*, *octagon mud*, *student*, or *blaikie* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: – Harlene Hayne (tweaked y whatifdunedin)


Filed under Architecture, Business, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

63 responses to “Don’t for Chrissakes play down effects of liquor barons #DUD

  1. Elizabeth

    Mr Cull said the statement had been held off until after the programme in case it needed to address inaccuracies or other issues in the TV show.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 12 May 2015
    Joint effort to tackle Dunedin’s drinking
    By Eileen Goodwin
    A joint statement signed by 10 organisations signals a new approach to addressing the binge-drinking culture in parts of the city, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. Entitled “Dunedin North Issue”, the statement released yesterday says “pressing action” is required to keep young people safe, curb excesses of alcohol-fuelled behaviour, and protect the livelihoods of Dunedin businesses and tertiary education institutions.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### May 12, 2015 – 8:19pm
      Organisations joining forces to tackle bad behaviour in student areas
      Widespread antisocial behaviour in North Dunedin is being tackled by city leaders. Representatives from several key organisations are joining forces to find solutions. And that can’t come soon enough for some residents.

  2. Elizabeth

    The mention is, of course, with any little brainstorm, always “North Dunedin” – when in fact people have been / are at great pains to explain the campus boundaries are fluid into the City Rise – with increasingly disastrous results, particularly for established local residents and owner-occupiers and those maintaining historic heritage… This, in the Facebook age.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    “An opportunity to collaborate positively to change the attitudes prevalent in Dunedin North and to re-establish pride in our community, our vibrant [there’s that word again] campus precinct and in our educational institutions.” That from Mayor Dave Cull. Ideas to improve the quality of events at Forsyth Barr Stadium? So now we have to pander to the little darlings to divert their attentions from their mayhem activities. Who pays for that? Improving street design and amenity features in North Dunedin. Again, who pays for that? And why? I don’t know of any occasion when a street of whatever design or feature ever actually set fire to itself or dragged couches from neighbouring houses to burn. No, the main factor in all this is the human element. If it can’t be seen to control itself in a seemly manner then it must be trained rigorously to do so. In a word, “get tough” and mean it. In this PC world? Not bloody likely.

    • Elizabeth

      Agree, Calvin. Tough love. Pussyfooters need not apply.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Isn’t that just typical! Appease, grovel – then wonder why Mummy and Daddy’s little emperors and princesses show no respect. Who’s the grown-up here? Who’s got the guts to BE grown-up, to set boundaries and enforce them without fear or favour?

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    If your roof leaks and your role of dunny paper gets dripped upon you have something tangible with which to compare the tensile strength and fitness for purpose of Dunedin’s current mayor.

    Think on’t, come next election season.

  5. Elizabeth


    ### Last updated 18:16, May 11 2015
    Bottles hurled at police as parties shut down
    Source: The Press
    Bottles were hurled at police as they shut down student parties on a suburban street where partygoers fought and lit couch fires. Eight people were arrested for disorder offences after more than 20 police officers were sent to Rattray St in Riccarton, Christchurch, where residents complained about at least two parties. Senior Sergeant Gordon Spite said alcohol-fuelled partygoers set a couch alight on the street, fought and threw bottles at police who were forced to don protective gear. […] One of the students said Rattray St was a well-known area for student parties. The majority of those who attended on Saturday night were from Lincoln and Canterbury universities.
    Read more

  6. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 13 May 2015
    Speaking up for ‘scarfie culture’
    By Carla Green
    A national television programme about Dunedin student drinking culture was criticised at a University of Otago council meeting yesterday. […] Vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne told the meeting “students around the university are justifiably upset that the Sunday programme provided an extremely unbalanced view – suggesting that all students behaved in a particular way”.
    Read more

  7. Elizabeth

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    North Dunedin Issues

    This item was published on 11 May 2015

    A joint statement from representatives of key city organisations has been released. This is the result of a summit called by the Mayor in March to discuss these North Dunedin issues.

    █ Download: Joint Statement (PDF, 403 KB)

    Contact Mayor Dave Cull on 03 477 4000.
    DCC Link

    [stitched screenshots]
    Dunedin North Issues 11.5.15 [screenshots] 1

  8. Elizabeth

    Jeff Dickie featured on the Sunday programme. Today, the Opinion was published by Otago Daily Times under the headline: ‘Time to stop playing politics over drunk student problem’.

    Received from Jeff Dickie
    ‎Wed‎, ‎13‎ ‎May‎ ‎2015 ‎5‎:‎22‎ ‎p.m.

    If University of Otago vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne and Mayor Dave Cull spent as much time and effort on actually addressing the problems associated with drunk students as they have with damage control and circling the wagons, we might see some positive change.

    Hayne’s claim (Sunday, TV1 May 10) that “research on liquor bans is very, very mixed”, is a convenient euphemistic excuse for continuing to do nothing! It also is at odds with her 2012 DCC submission supporting a ban!

    “There might be merit in extending the ban beyond North Dunedin to include the entire city”, she said. Also, “they were shown to reduce disorder, increase public perceptions of safety and influence community norms”.

    There are many places around the world where bans do work. Parts of Australia have a $500 fine, and it seems to work very well. Victoria University of Wellington halls of residence have recently banned alcohol as a result of poor drunken behaviour.

    Cull’s comment to seek student “buy in”, is a similar cop-out.

    On the recent Sunday programme Hayne makes out the issues here are part of a global problem with alcohol. Nobody could dispute we have that as well. But I find it amazing that someone who is paid well over $500,000 can’t see that Dunedin has unique problems associated with a now established and infamous binge drinking culture and apartheid ghetto housing. The latter caused by extremely poor DCC planning.

    What is extraordinary is that by directly sponsoring the private franchise professional football team, The Highlanders, Otago University is a co-sponsor along with Speight’s and KFC! This is an unholy alliance and shows just how far off track the university has become.

    Unlike Dunedin, many university cities around the world have key staff living in the university precinct. For example, Oxford and Cambridge. Neither the Vice Chancellor or Mayor live anywhere near the university/student area in Dunedin, and are therefore completely unaffected personally by the unruly behaviour. This is also the case with Cr Andrew Whiley, who speaks so enthusiastically about the Hyde St party.

    I would appeal to both Hayne and Cull to stop playing politics with this very serious matter. Dunedin has become the laughing stock of NZ on several issues. This latest one is a national embarrassment and will be exposed until it is fixed.

    Jeff Dickie

    ODT Link

    █ For more, enter the terms *university*, *harlene*, *alcohol*, *publicity*, *hyde*, *party*, *octagon mud*, *student*, or *blaikie* in the search box at right.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    City Council Media Release. Read it, thought I did years ago when Peter Chin was the mayor, or was it when Sukhi Turner was? Not sure actually. But one thing I am sure of, and it’s that nothing will change. It will all be simply seen by the present and fresher students as a challenge, knowing full well that nothing drastic will happen to them because of their behaviour. They are after all the future and it’s theirs. They are the inheritors of the ‘PC’ world and we better believe it. A four-page document with a fancy letterhead and a bunch of indecipherable signatures does nothing but massage the ego of he who thinks he is in charge.

  10. Diane Yeldon

    I disgraced myself at the DCC’s public forum some time ago by suggesting that students shoot stray cats. Perhaps the reverse might work better…. ?

  11. Elizabeth

    In two months absolutely nothing has changed, thanks VC Harlene and Mayor Dave for your unutterable ability to effect CHANGE. Keep on tracking your social marketing of the good time campus and city and see Dunedin fall apart like it is already. As Jeff Dickie rightly says above: “Dunedin has unique problems associated with a now established and infamous binge drinking culture and apartheid ghetto housing. The latter caused by extremely poor DCC planning.”
    Copy that.

    Supplied Sat, 16 May 2015 at 12:26 p.m.
    Worth reading the full article and its links !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ### Wed, 11 March 2015
    Clampdown on Dunedin’s student town
    By Mava Moayyed
    As police and the city council try to keep a lid on anti-social behaviour in Dunedin, Otago University is trying to redefine what it means to be a student there. But is it working? […] There is no denying there are students who choose Otago because of its reputation as a party mecca, something the university is still grappling with.
    Read more

    From the article:

    One of the most vocal critics is city councillor David Benson-Pope. “I find it embarrassing, it’s like a bloody slum,” he says. “I’m sure if we went into Hyde Street with a health inspector, which is something I am working on, we could close a lot of those places down for reasons of unsanitariness.”

    Cr Lee Vandervis says the student quarter attracts “troublemakers” from all over the city because of a perception that they can get away with behaviour that wouldn’t fly in the rest of Dunedin. “But there are also number of Auckland parents sending their troublesome little snots down to Otago.”

    The Mayor says the city’s police are generally light-handed in the north, saying if they were “a group of meat workers from Balclutha” police would be dealing with them much more harshly.

    [on the word Scarfie] “The media have misappropriated the term to mean something evil, messy, and disrespectful—the term is often used as synonym for binge drinking and antisocial behaviour. Nothing could be farther from the truth.” –Vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne


    The Mayor says over the last few years, young people in Dunedin have been receiving “overly permissive” and “ambiguous” messages about their behaviour.

  12. Elizabeth

    While the Mayor and Hayne screw up their noses at the student ghetto while the University takes the cash from student fees and related income streams to build and rebuild its sagging empire – where is the money University of Otago should compulsorily be paying to Dunedin City Council to fix the resulting planning issues, and the unmitigated effects felt by Dunedin ratepayers and residents for disruption and damage caused to their properties and their lives —due to the SPREAD of the Scarfie campus into City Rise.

    Perhaps the defined Tertiary Campus Zone should become a gated Scarfie community. —You want to study? Do your time inside the gates; behave or have the full force of the law and university sanction on your tails.

    • Actually making the student area a gated community is a very good idea. Am wondering about how this could be done with regards to the law. Hmmm. Well, it COULD be done but the opposite way to what you would originally expect – the landlords and students WITHIN the gated community (presumably close in to the university) would have to voluntarily agree to good standards of behaviour and appropriate consideration for neighbours. Then all the residents in any kind of accommodation outside the gated community would be subjected to the full force of every bylaw and law which the DCC and the police can enforce.
      Of course, for the students INSIDE the gated community, a little bit more tolerance could be shown and some traditional, fun events provided for them free at regular intervals – to which they automatically get free tickets and no-one else does. And the area of the ‘gated community’ would just need to be a line drawn on a map and maybe some kind of jokey but still serious label on street signs (studentville?).
      A bit of social engineering here? An opportunity in the District Plan Review to discourage the conversion of heritage buildings in City Rise and more distant from the university into multi-bedroom slummy flats? Just limit the number of bedrooms to about three.
      Certainly could all be done, I think, if the will was there on the part of both the uni, the DCC and the police. Would not be expensive. And is likely to increase student numbers, not discourage out-of-towers from choosing Dunedin (both uni and polytech, the latter also being an excellent place to study, also Aoraki polytech).

      • And just imagine the proud and privileged residents of “studentville’ organising their own rubbish clean ups and street beautification projects with nice gardens with flowers in them. Why not? And let the media give this kind of responsible and community-minded young student ( like those in Christchurch’s student volunteer army who rose to the occasion after the earthquakes) MORE publicity than the drunken twerps (many of whom may not, in fact, be students at all).

  13. Elizabeth

    Goodie two-shoes, or what…. (failing to see the widespread issues caused by their unruly peers and non-scarfie friends)

    ODT: Boozy Dunedin stereotype ‘ridiculous’
    “I can’t deny the idea that Dunedin is a bit of a party university, and people do want to come down here for a good time.” –Tessa Saunders, student
    “Whenever I go to any place in Christchurch or Wellington or Auckland and say that I’m a student from Dunedin, they ask me how many couches I’ve burnt.” –Will Gillespie, student

    National student association (NZUSA) president does a far better job than his local equivalent at OUSA. Surprise!!!

    “[The University of Otago] is a destination university … In some respects, that is what Otago University propagates as the student experience … Some responsibility has to be taken [for that].” –Rory McCourt

    ### ODT Online Sat, 16 May 2015
    Marketing of Otago ‘culture’ questioned
    By Carla Green
    The University of Otago will have to examine its reputation as a “party school” if it wants the student drinking culture to change, the national student association union says. “Sometimes students come to Dunedin for that `student experience’, and sometimes the university and [the association] promote that culture,” New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations president Rory McCourt said yesterday.
    Read more

    • Anna

      This article was written exactly 5 years ago – – does anyone know of any positive developments related to any of the detailed suggestions in this ODT article? – the situation seems to have deteriorated in last 5 years rather than improved and the problems have now moved geographically into City Rise and central CBD – scary – drinking culture is a problem but only part of bigger unaddressed problems.

      • Anna: I agree it is frustrating to see solutions proposed and still no action. I wonder if both the uni and the polytech in co-operation with the DCC, the police and maybe the fire service should ask the students (not the students’ associations) how they view the problem, what they would like done about it (even if it is mainly a problem of media and public perception) and whether any of them are willing to volunteer to help.
        As above, I think making living in the campus zone a privilege which irresponsible and anti- social students could lose should help (with the DCC and the police being really tough everywhere else). Think this could be done legally through leases – landlords in the campus zone should be motivated to require as one condition of their leases that any student ‘proscribed from studentville’ by the university must vacate the flat. There are usually waiting lists for these well-located flats and the landlord can expect to have his property better cared for and the amenity value of its whole neighbourhood increased. So this should be an incentive for the landlords to agree to such a condition in the lease – and then the landlords are more likely to upgrade their properties because they know flat trashing (along with other irresponsible and anti-social behaviour) will not be tolerated by the uni.

  14. Elizabeth

    Great letters by Bill Southworth (in support of Jeff Dickie) and N. Wilson (DCC and Police too lenient on youth) – scab letter by VC Harlene Hayne.

    Or pub closures brought about by the university!!
    (that’s all you can think of, it seems)


    Be a university leader, not an obtuse supporter of the nuisance-driven and sometimes criminal student “adventure” that spoils our neighbourhoods and overall quality of life.

    ODT 16.5.15 (page 30)

    ODT 16.5.15 Letters to editor Cuccurullo Southworth Wilson Hayne (page 30)[click to enlarge]

  15. Elizabeth

    In the following Opinion piece, Mr Woodhouse refers to Vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne’s comments at ODT on 11 May – these are linked at the post at the top of this thread. Again, here.

    The Star 21.5.15 (page 10)

    The Star 21.5.15 Woodhouse - Hyde St page 10

  16. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 10 Jun 2015
    Popular student bars to re-open
    By Carla Green
    Popular student bars Capone and Boogie Nites will re-open this Friday under new management, operator Sheldon Lye has confirmed.
    Read more

  17. Elizabeth

    AWASH —Rugby, Rorting and Beer
    NZ Fail at social responsibility

    The legislation would allow bars to stay open between 4am and 8am for World Cup matches, passed its first reading this evening.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 12 Aug 2015
    Bars to stay open for RWC
    By Isaac Davison – New Zealand Herald
    Pubs and bars will be able show early morning Rugby World Cup games – and possibly other major events – after the Green Party made a complete reversal of its opposition to extended opening hours. The Greens today chose not to block a second attempt by Act Party leader David Seymour to table a bill which would urgently change liquor laws. NZME
    Read more


    RihannaVEVO Published on Aug 27, 2011
    Rihanna – Cheers (Drink To That)
    RIHANNA’S PERSONAL CUT of “Cheers (Drink To That).” © 2011 Island Def Jam
    Music: “Cheers (drink to that)” by Rihanna (Google Play • iTunes)

    • Peter

      I’m not impressed that the Greens made a principled stand in terms of standing up for some form of social responsibilty and then decided to cave in to the same populism they accused Seymour of. Their excuse that National’s legislation is better doesn’t wash. This was their face saver and everyone knows that. The U turn will do them more harm than good among their softer voters.

  18. Elizabeth

    The Dunedin City Council had received two applications by yesterday for licences to screen world cup games. Both bids were opposed by police and a hearing was set down for a fortnight’s time, council liquor licensing co-ordinator Kevin Mechen said. Whether that hearing proceeded would depend on the nature of the legislation passed by parliament, he said.


    ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Aug 2015
    Editorial: Practical political solution
    Prime Minister John Key delivered some welcome news to rugby fans when he announced the Government is planning to urgently change liquor laws to allow pubs to stay open for early morning Rugby World Cup games.
    Read more

  19. Calvin Oaten

    Once again the country’s populace are forced to kneel down and worship at the alter of “RUGBY” which is supported on the columns of the brewing industry. Our ‘Grand Mufti’ John Key and his ‘Elders’ are right behind this as they see it as the ‘opiate of the people’ who must be placated lest they rampage and vote for a change of hierarchy.

  20. Peter

    If people want to drink at those hours in the morning they still can. At home. (Why I don’t know). The ramifications of this move for the RWC – both social and economic – are serious. It is not being a killjoy to say no to public drinking into the wee hours of the morning.
    More crime. More days off work. More problem drinking on the streets.

  21. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Aug 2015
    Dunedin Countdown’s three-day booze ban
    By Chris Morris
    Countdown’s central Dunedin store will be banned from selling alcohol for three days next month, after offering illegally discounted alcohol as part of a nationwide promotion. The ruling by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority was released to the Otago Daily Times today.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Countdown’s Cumberland St store was “effectively taking responsibility for the entire group”.

      ### ODFT Online Tue, 25 Aug 2015
      Booze ban ‘significant penalty’ for Countdown
      By Chris Morris
      Supermarket giant Countdown says the loss of its central Dunedin alcohol licence for three days is a “learning experience for the business”. […] The ruling meant General Distributors Ltd, which holds off licences for 175 supermarkets, would have its off licence for the Countdown central Dunedin store suspended from 7am on September 7 to 7am on September 10.
      Read more

  22. Elizabeth

    Women’s Refuge and health professionals strongly condemn the law, which will allow all bars to stay open between 4am and 8am for World Cup matches.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Aug 2015
    Bars could open for 68 hours during RWC
    By Nicholas Jones – NZ Herald
    Bars could be able to open for 68 hours-straight under a Rugby World Cup booze bill, a Ministry of Health-funded group says. The National Public Health Alcohol Working Group is highly critical of the law, which was introduced by Act Party leader David Seymour and has cross-party support. NZME
    Read more

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    That’s weird beyond belief. Why do people need to go to a bar, when there can’t be more than 5 people in NZ who don’t have a TV with sky, or friends/rellies/people who owe them a favour, with same. Why drink before work? Oh yes, not everyone is going to work, that’s right. Some are on shift work, or on annual leave, or unemployed.

    Could be a nice little earner for the government, via police breath alcohol checks of drivers during the period from end of game to driving-to-work traffic. I wonder if police rosters have been already been produced with that in mind.

  24. Elizabeth

    This is FAR beyond the pale – No charges for drunken rampage – since when, Dunedin Police (losers). Victim impact – like you frigging care ?!

    Otago Daily Times Published on Sep 1, 2015
    Interview with Ivy Ding

    Ivy Ding speaks about her terrifying ordeal in which a woman attacked her, vandalised her home and frightened her elderly mother and young son.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Sep 2015
    Victim upset that attacker escaping charges
    By Timothy Brown
    A Wakari woman is distressed a woman who attacked her and vandalised her home during a drunken rampage will not face charges. Police told her at the time of attending the incident, and in a subsequent email, that the woman would not be charged and suggested she contact her insurance company to recover the cost of the damage.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      How drunk does a person have to be to gain immunity from prosecution? A prompt reply will be appreciated as there are a few birthday parties coming up, and then the Christmas parties.

  25. E Palmer

    I’d love an answer to the same question Hype. I’ve a few neighbours around me that I’d like to pay back in kind around exam time this year. Christ only knows what I’ll be capable of, but it’s great be able to argue out of it now!

  26. Catcher

    Jon Leng from Chapel Apartments on View St suffered exactly the same treatment 3 years ago from an extremely drunk student neighbour (Yes, at the infamous Backpackers). This idiot got so rotten, he fell through a window, into an apartment where 2 kids were sleeping next door to their parents. Not only were they all traumatised by the noise and bloody carnage, Jon had to find them alternative accommodation, pay them a refund, clean up the mess and block up the destroyed window at his own expense.

    Did the Police make an arrest? No! Was an apology made? No! Was there any compensation for the damage? No!

    The Police decided it was an accident. Yes people – You can ‘accidentally’ get drunk! So THAT explains why criminal offending by students so rarely reaches the courts in Dunedin.

  27. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Sep 2015
    Decision not to charge woman ‘insensitive’
    By Timothy Brown
    Police may have “technically” made the right call by not charging a drunken 21-year-old who attacked a Wakari woman and vandalised her home, but their response was “insensitive”, a legal expert says. Intoxication can form a legal defence if the person carries out their actions without conscious thought or intention and that may have influenced the attending officers’ in their decision not to lay charges, but it is questionable if they had all the evidence at hand to make that decision, University of Otago dean of law Prof Mark Henaghan says.
    Read more

    • Diane Yeldon

      The woman chose to drink alcohol while she was sober and so made an informed decision to put herself into a state where it would be reasonable to suppose she might behave in a socially irresponsible and destructive manner. Therefore she is responsible for the consequences of her subsequent actions, should have been charged by the police and, if the evidence warranted it, found guilty. The victim should have been given some sense of protection from this and any possible subsequent infringements of her rights. And reparation for any damage.
      In contrast, if someone had held the alleged perpetrator down and fed her alcohol against her will and then she had become drunk (brain poisoned) and had frightened and threatened another person and damaged their property, she would NOT be guilty. The person who compulsorily fed her the alcohol would be, as these crimes are consequent to their original illegal action. Would be interested to know the view of those with legal education and experience (but, learning from past experience, am leaving family references out if it!)

      • Calvin Oaten

        It would be more interesting to know who the woman knew, either within the police or the legal fraternity. As Diane says, no-one gets intoxicated and can reasonably expect to be absolved of the consequences. A stunning example of justice gone mad.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Why is drunken driving illegal, then? A drunk person – too drunk to know what they’re doing – should get off, though anyone with a smidgen over the legal limit must be prosecuted. It’s logical, isn’t it?

  28. Elizabeth

    Industry-funded study ignores “huge body of evidence” showing the effectiveness of restricting alcohol.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 14 Jan 2016
    Alcohol-violence link row
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Alcohol company Lion has accused academics of cherry-picking information for a critique of Lion-funded research that had denied a direct link between alcohol and violence. Published in the journal Addiction, the critique by Auckland University’s Nicki Jackson and Prof Kypros Kypri, of the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, takes to task British anthropologist Dr Anne Fox’s Lion-funded research that blamed culture, rather than alcohol, for violence.
    Read more

  29. Elizabeth

    DUNEDIN: McCarthy’s Malcolm St Super Liquor has been given a three-week suspension after serving alcohol to an underage boy.

    Wed, 7 Sep 2016
    ODT: Seventh law breach for liquor outlet owners
    The owners of seven Dunedin liquor stores, on thin ice after a 17-year-old was sold RTDs during a police sting, say they have been unfairly treated. The indiscretion last October resulted in the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority suspending their licence for Super Liquor Dunedin, in Malcolm St, in a decision released yesterday. Police had argued for all seven of Patricia and Kenneth McCarthy’s Dunedin outlets to be stripped of their licences, noting there had been seven cases of them selling to minors in nine years.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Seven cases of them selling to minors in nine years.
      Remind me, how many cases of Wests selling liquor to minors in the last century and a third?

      Do the alcohol laws look so absurd that one would expect even jobsworths to be like the police and concentrate on some laws, so others drop off the to-do list? The police have an excuse, they’re under-resourced. And there’s the emphasis on revenue from speeding fines irrespective of whether it was in a risky situation or not.

      How many prosecutions for jaywalking have there been recently? (Is it still an offence?)

      Perhaps M&M, Jobsworth Westsbusters, are over-resourced? Or perhaps it’s about difficulties identifying priorities – difficulties common to Government, ALAC and the people given responsibility for pursuing evil-doers no matter what cost, financial and reputational, to all parties.

  30. Elizabeth

    Sun, 11 Sep 2016
    ODT: Liquor store’s licence opposed
    A North Dunedin liquor store’s licence is under threat because it is situated on a service station forecourt. […] Council liquor licensing co-ordinator Kevin Mechen said the liquor licence was being opposed because a recent ruling made it clear that under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 liquor stores were not allowed on petrol station forecourts.

    Business: Cumberland St Super Liquor, situated next to a BP service station
    Owners: Patricia and Kenneth McCarthy,

  31. Elizabeth

    Tue, 13 Sep 2016
    Area too ‘vulnerable’ to booze shops
    Opening another liquor store in South Dunedin would result in increased alcohol abuse and crime in what is already a deprived area. The warnings from police and the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) form part of their opposition to an application from a Hillside Rd tobacconist for a liquor licence. According to the agenda for a hearing this week, the store’s owner Graham Murphie is applying for the licence in an attempt to increase its profitability amid falling tobacco sales.

  32. Peter

    Let’s hope the council heeds the warnings from the police and the SDHB. It is not the responsibility of the council, or society as a whole, to give booze merchants, or dope dealers for that matter, a hand up.

  33. Rob Hamlin

    Talking about booze and crime I see in today’s ODT that a local lawyer (Anne Stevens) is saying that some of her colleagues could have got Mr Delegat off discharged without conviction – now a routine gambit, presumably on the basis that he pleaded guilty, showed remorse (for what?) and that he had no prior convictions.

    “the sentence was “entirely consistent” for the type of offence, committed by someone with no previous convictions and otherwise good character, and who had pleaded guilty….Any number of lawyers in Dunedin would have achieved the same result … some of them, I dare say, would have got a discharge.”

    Now the reports indicate that he continued to punch a (police) woman (hard and repeatedly and aimed at the head) when she was no longer conscious, and these reports do not appear to be in dispute – which would make a discharge without conviction an eyebrow-raising outcome – for me at least. Were I to punch a female pizza delivery driver, rendering her unconscious and then subsequently delivered three to four heavy aimed blows to her then defenceless head, I would have absolutely no expectation of such an outcome.

    To this must be added the fact that the initial charge was changed:

    “Delegat was initially charged with the aggravated assault of police officer Alana Kane…That charge was amended to assaulting a police officer with intent to obstruct her in the execution of her duty earlier this year.”

    This seems odd, as Section 192 of the Crimes Act, which defines aggravated assault, reads as follows:

    “192 Aggravated Assault

    (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who assaults any other person with intent—
    (a) to commit or facilitate the commission of any imprisonable offence; or
    (b) to avoid the detection of himself or herself or of any other person in the commission of any imprisonable offence; or
    (c) to avoid the arrest or facilitate the flight of himself or herself or of any other person upon the commission or attempted commission of any imprisonable offence.

    (2) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who assaults any constable or any person acting in aid of any constable, or any person in the lawful execution of any process, with intent to obstruct the person so assaulted in the execution of his or her duty.”

    Sub-section 192(2) seems clear enough. As Constable Kane was apparently trying to arrest Mr Delegat at the time, I am not sure how the first punch (at least) can be identified as anything other than an aggravated assault as defined by this sub-section.

    Also, I cannot see how Constable Kane (who was apparently unconscious, and thus defenceless after the first blow) was in the process of executing her duty, or anything else for that matter, when the three to four subsequent blows were delivered. One cannot be arrested by, flee from or obstruct a corpse (or its functional equivalent), and the defendant appears to have been quite lucky that wasn’t what she was, given that he doesn’t seem to have held back in any way:

    “Judge Phillips said Delegat punched Const. Kane with enough force to “render that officer into a state of unconsciousness”. “[He] then punched her another three or four times … all aimed at the head,” he said. The other responding officer, Constable Keith Early, described the violence of the assault in evidential briefs referenced by Judge Phillips, saying Delegat was “absolutely smashing her”. “If she has another brain trauma like she did that night, it would seriously compromise her health,” Judge Phillips said.”

    As a consequence I am puzzled as to how these subsequent three to four blows can in any way be construed as either ‘escaping’ from her (192(1) or ‘obstructing’ her in her duties (192(2). Thus flight or obstruction does not seem to apply to these later blows – but I of course am a simple soul – and not a high powered barrister.

    If they cannot be reasonably associated with either attempted obstruction or flight, then the subsequent three to four heavy aimed blows, which reportedly caused significant damage to the then incapacitated victim, might come under Section 188 of the Crimes Act, ‘Wounding with Intent’, the penalties for which make it an exceedingly unattractive destination for any remorseful person of good character and a clean rap sheet. The issue of course for any prosecutor is adequately demonstrating ‘intent’ in the face of a well skilled and resourced legal team:

    “188 Wounding with intent

    (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to any one, wounds, maims, disfigures, or causes grievous bodily harm to any person.
    (2) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, with intent to injure anyone, or with reckless disregard for the safety of others, wounds, maims, disfigures, or causes grievous bodily harm to any person.”

    Going back to the pizza delivery driver example, I can see no obvious way out for me by claiming that I was only obstructing her in her pizza delivery duties in a non-aggravated manner while delivering the first blow or while subsequently delivering three or four heavy, aimed blows to her unconscious form.

    I am also unsure as to how I would go about demonstrating that either I did not intend to cause significant wounds to her while repeatedly smashing her defenceless head, or that I was unable to stop hitting her for any good reason until four to five blows had been delivered (booze, tantrums and self entitlement are not good reasons – I think?). Consequently if justice were to be served on me by the Court on the pizza delivery woman’s behalf, I would expect to be convicted and sentenced to a hefty custodial term under Section 192(2), Section 188(1) or both.

    Now, how is this case involving this police officer any different? Does the legal/political community now believe that serious and potentially lethal assaults are something that the police should simply put up with as a routine part of their job – just as long as their assailants plead guilty, are of ‘good character’, subsequently remorseful, claim that they did not intend to do it and have a clean rap sheet? Because that, surely, is what applying for a subsequent discharge of the assailant without conviction on the basis of these ‘qualifications’ amounts to? A judge granting it simply reinforces the position – in this case the judge didn’t, although it has been suggested that significant pressure to do so was applied:

    “However, Judge Kevin Phillips needed to be commended for resisting the “considerable pressure” to grant name suppression and discharge without conviction, Mr O’Connor said.”

    Does this apparent legal requirement to put up with serious assaults from such qualified individuals also apply to the rest of us? Maybe, that is only if we do not possess an equivalent degree of ‘good character’? I do not know if these things cancel each other out when such matters are considered – but I suspect that they might. One gets the impression that in this country sporting ‘legends’ can assault people in various ways and get away with it a lot quieter and easier than those few misguided souls who choose to assault sporting ‘legends’. Would barristers and judges (who are of course all of very good character) accept the working and living conditions that they apparently expect of the police? I think not.

    But here’s the true beauty of this discharge without conviction caper. If a person of the necessary remorsefulness and ‘good character’ is discharged without conviction for an assault of this type, then if they chose to repeat the exercise, or a variation upon it, they could plead guilty (show remorse (again, for what?) and go for a another discharge without conviction on the basis (wait for it!………) that they had no prior convictions! There could be no end to the opportunities.

    As I have noted in an earlier posting this process of discharge without conviction is becoming a plague in this country. A plague in which history is rewritten, often in secret (During this case Delegat has applied for suppression as well as for a discharge without conviction – see above quote). Such discharges act for the personal benefit of individuals who have offended, and thus presumably to the detriment of wider society who are denied communal justice, and often even communal knowledge. It is now no longer just a legal issue. It is a social and political one.

    In my opinion this particular discretion should be removed from judges entirely, and should be solely reserved for the Minster of Justice via a public referral from the Court of Appeal. This referral cannot be applied for, but is solely at the discretion of the court. This would ensure that if history is to be rewritten than it would only be rewritten in public, and would have a strong political/social element to it. It would also only be so rewritten in the rare cases where the public and their elected representatives considered this act of public mercy to be appropriate.

    The same goes for continuing name suppression after an individual has either been found or pleaded guilty and all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.

    One hopes that the police appeal this case on behalf of their colleague, but one supposes that their considerations must include the possibility that an appeal may end up the further reduction of the charge to something like wearing a bad sports coat in the dock with intent to distress the witnesses, dismissal on a technicality – or in an outright discharge without conviction. One hopes that the unfamiliar glare of publicity in the courtroom might have at least made these outcomes less likely.

    Happy international sailing folks, and look out for the affluenza!

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “…(Anne Stevens) is saying that some of her colleagues could have got Mr Delegat off discharged without conviction – now a routine gambit, presumably on the basis that he pleaded guilty, showed remorse (for what?) and that he had no prior convictions. “the sentence was “entirely consistent” for the type of offence,….”
      Except that it wasn’t. The offence was the same as when someone fells a person with one blow and they die. She didn’t die, but he kept on smashing her – so that’s a lesser offence?

      I wonder how often are those deaths from one blow a coin-toss of fate? Yet they are taken very seriously – as long as the victim dies and the perp is neither a “promising” sportsman nor crotchfruit of the greatly wealthy.

      And even if it was consistent, the consistency was with the charge, not the offence. Richboy was charged with an offence with an ickle teenyweeny penalty – whose decision was that, eh? Why not a charge that accurately described what he actually did?

      If it had been Mr Epere’s son I wonder what he’d have been charged with.

  34. Calvin Oaten

    Rob, what a sickening litany of shortcomings of the law. It is abundantly clear to anyone that in this instance there was at work the ‘grubby’ side of court jurisprudence wherein serious events (crimes) are subjected to the machinations of counsels bent on defying the intent of the laws and justice. One cannot see this as anything but blatant manipulation of a system by privileged ‘club members’ who, when needs must, call on and exercise all the favours available within the range of that membership.
    If the police don’t proceed to challenge this outcome on behalf of the police officer, victim of a vicious, prolonged assault then it leaves the people wondering if in fact there really is a law in this country for the rich and connected, but not for the rest.

  35. russandbev

    Rob, typically well researched and well written. No doubt at all that sons of very rich parents are indeed privileged in all meanings of the word. There is no doubt at all that quiet words are spoken between those that have the power to influence and those that have the power to act in our society. This thug, and there is no other word that should be used to describe him, was clearly guilty of a sustained assault on a female going about her lawful business which happened to be trying to control thugs like him. “Remorse” – don’t make me laugh. The only remorse likely to be felt by people like this is that their name and face has been published. The fact that the “judiciary” is willing to condone this behaviour by wet bus tiicket responses is a measure of what we have stooped to accept. Let us hope that the thug can one day appreciate what he did to this female police officer by being on the receiving end of similar behaviour by perhaps one of his drunken mates on one of his family’s yachts.

  36. Elizabeth

    Wed, 14 Sep 2016
    Call for appeal of Delegat sentence
    Labour’s police spokesman Stuart Nash says the Government should tell the Crown Law Office to appeal the “ridiculously light” sentence handed down to Nikolas Delegat for assaulting a policewoman. […] Nash said Prime Minister John Key said in 2010 the Government had a duty to send the message attacks on police officers were unacceptable but he had been silent on the Delegat case.

    Nikolas James Posa Delegat (19) was sentenced to 300 hours community work for the assault, 100 hours for assaulting a campus watch officer, 60 hours for wilful damage, and 60 hours for resisting arrest. He has also been ordered to pay $5000 reparation to the police officer he punched, Constable Alana Kane.

  37. Peter

    The disgustingly light sentence given to this little creep has appeared in The Guardian via MSN.
    No wonder so many people have little faith in the New Zealand justice system. The police have our total support.

    • photonz

      I’m not trying to pick on the police, but how do they reconcile their opinion that 300 hours community service is too light, with a young white female responsible for a violent home invasion in the city not even being charged by police with anything at all?

  38. Elizabeth

    Garrick Tremain – 15 Sep 2016

  39. Elizabeth

    Saturday, 17 Sep 2016
    ODT Editorial: Rich person’s justice?
    The outcry over the case of Aucklander Nikolas Delegat, from the wealthy Delegat family, is perfectly understandable. What happened that late night in March last year makes dire reading. […] Given the costs and effort a trial and the number of major Dunedin cases coming up, was it better to cut and run? It is here the rich factor could come into play.

  40. Elizabeth

    Wed, 21 Sep 2016
    ODT: Cut liquor outlets, uni says
    The University of Otago has compared its efforts to battle New Zealand’s drinking culture to “bailing out the Titanic with a thimble” as it sets its sights on liquor outlets in the student quarter. The comments were part of a letter from vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne opposing the renewal of Cumberland St Super Liquor’s licence, which is next to a service station in North Dunedin. […] Prof Hayne’s letter […] calls on the Dunedin district licensing committee to do “all in its power” to address the proliferation of liquor stores in and around the student quarter.

  41. Elizabeth

    Sat, 24 Sep 2016 at 5:10 p.m.


    Sat, 24 Sep 2016
    Alcohol policy appealed
    The Dunedin City Council faces a potentially protracted legal battle as New Zealand’s supermarket giants join forces to fight the city’s local alcohol policy. Progressive Enterprises and Foodstuffs are among eight parties —  including the New Zealand Police — to appeal the DCC’s provisional local alcohol policy. The appeals mean the council’s policy remains in limbo and changes to curb alcohol-related harm are stalled, more than a year after the initiatives were signed off by councillors.

    • E. Palmer

      I was utterly shocked at the minimal changes to the local alcohol policy back in June. Given what Dunedin has to put up with, they were PATHETIC. It seems our booze peddlers are not willing to budge one iota on what they’ve wangled for themselves. That’s drug dealers for you. Next you know we’ll be getting sued because we’re not buying enough!

  42. Elizabeth

    Tue, 27 Sep 2016
    ODT: Hayne’s view lacks ‘rigour’
    One of New Zealand’s largest liquor companies says University of Otago vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne’s “rant” about North Dunedin liquor outlets lacks “intellectual rigour”. Prof Hayne has called on the Dunedin district licensing committee to do “all in its power to address the proliferation” of liquor outlets around the student quarter as part of the university’s opposition to a licence application by Cumberland St Super Liquor.


    Tue, 27 Sep 2016
    ODT: Idour pulls out of liquor hearing

  43. Elizabeth

    Wed, 28 Sep 2016

    ODT: Alarm at new liquor policy
    New rules designed to curb the worst excesses of our booze culture are beginning to bite, but sections of Dunedin’s hospitality industry say they are now the target of a heavy-handed crackdown by officials.

    ODT: Minister cautions against Wests’ reprieve

    ODT: Caught in changing times

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Officials are indeed being obnoxiously officious.

      The flaws aren’t Wests or traditional one-day events. They’re central government’s recklessness in lowering the drinking so far below maturity of judgement, and allowing supermarkets not only to sell alcohol but to sell it on specials, advertised widely not only in print but also direct to viewers’ eyes on our commercial TV channels.

      Did Wests advertise cut-price alcohol? Did people regularly line up at their counter with a trolley-load of bottles?

      Observe the checkouts at Gardens and city supermarkets during university holidays, then when the students come back. Observe the trolleys, observe the proportion of alcohol to food and other groceries. Then tell me the main reason for week in, week out social problems caused by drunkenness is being addressed by these jobsworths in jackboots.

  44. Rob Hamlin

    When I was an obnoxious teenager in the Seventies in the UK in a town smothered in pubs, last orders was at 10.30, bar Saturday when it was 11. Everybody get kicked out 10 minutes after that.

    Once out on the street one went home. If one lingered a body in a blue uniform (on foot) would appear quite quickly and ask you why you were hanging around, especially if there were several of you. If a good answer was not forthcoming (and in my case it never was) you were politely invited to disappear. If you didn’t, or turned up elsewhere, the second invite was not polite – I never got to find out what happened at a third meeting.

    It seemed to work – can’t recall anybody being unhappy about it. Perhaps we didn’t know we were deprived.

  45. Elizabeth

    Yeah right

    Nowhere else to drink…. “We have a choice of either here or the street.”

    Mon, 3 Oct 2016
    Police, Campus Watch move partygoers
    About 150 revellers [STUDENTS] partying in Dunedin’s Botanic Garden were moved on by police and Campus Watch on Saturday evening. In good spirits, they were moved on from a clearing in the upper gardens, near Lovelock Ave, just after 6pm. They left behind alcohol bottles and bags of rubbish.


    Do new rules risk killing off the city’s nightlife? –ODT

    Mon, 3 Oct 2016
    Risks seen in bar regulation
    Dunedin’s bars and clubs are in the spotlight like never before, as officials take a tougher line on policing the city’s alcohol industry. […] As night falls, Dunedin’s inner-city streets come alive. First the diners, then the drinkers and the dancers, as restaurants, bars and clubs hum with the energy of a night out. The epicentre is the Octagon, where thousands of people descend on a busy night, jamming the venues, and the footpaths, until the early hours. And, every so often, trouble flares — a push, a punch or something worse, drawing the attention of door staff and police. But it is trouble of a different kind that sections of Dunedin’s hospitality industry now see looming on the horizon.

    Otago Daily Times Published on Oct 2, 2016
    Alcohol – nightlife concerns

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