Business owner forcibly removed from Dunedin Central police station

TODAY local businessman Jon Leng, owner of Chapel Apartments at 81 Moray Place, found himself being manhandled / roughed up by police officers as he was shown out of Dunedin Central police station.

Did Our Lovely Police keep any video footage of the incident – WIPED?!?
Oh, three foyer cameras ‘not online’, they said?

Apparently, the moment selected to ‘move on’ Mr Leng coincided with the absence of witnesses in the foyer…. conveniently, the woman receptionist was seen to lower her head (and eyes) for the expulsion.

Hopefully, Otago Daily Times, which Mr Leng visited shortly after the bruising, will run some decent coverage of the ruffled protagonist with his broken ($800) glasses.

Inspector Melanie Aitken [] 1 Perturbed about the advertised 130-person party (Ball!) at Backpackers, next door at 2 View Street, Mr Leng had visited Dunedin Central to speak to Inspector Melanie Aitken who heads the investigation (into harassment and intimidation of View Street residents) that followed screening of ‘Party Central’ on Sunday TVNZ (10 May 2015).

Because ‘Mel’ Aitken made herself unavailable, Mr Leng decided not to leave Dunedin Central until she met with him. Fair enough.

At some point, however, he was forcibly removed from the station.

Chapel Apartments, 81 Moray Place cnr View Street [Google Street View] 1Chapel Apartments, 81 Moray Place [Google Street View]

### ODT Online Tue, 14 Jul 2015
View St event worries neighbour
By Carla Green
Residents of a notorious Dunedin student party flat have sent a letter to neighbours, saying they are “having a Ball” on Friday but are “really keen to minimise any inconvenience to you”. However, the owner of a neighbouring building, [Jon] Leng, is sceptical the event in the View St flat will be any different from previous parties. […] Mr Leng rents his View St property to short-term tenants, and said every time the student flat held a party in the past, he had to provide refunds.
Read more

Ball at Backpackers (letter)

█ Download: Ball at Backpackers, letter (PDF, 267 KB)

Note: According to DCC, Backpackers (2 View Street) may host a maximum of 50 people at ‘The Ball’, not the 130 persons invited by tenants.

Related Posts and Comments:
26.5.15 Student involvement in Dunedin drinking culture
● 12.5.15 View Street, seen from Moray Place [2 View Street owner details]
11.5.15 Don’t for Chrissakes play down effects of liquor barons #DUD
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


Filed under Architecture, Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Events, Heritage, Hot air, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

25 responses to “Business owner forcibly removed from Dunedin Central police station

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Perhaps Mr Leng would appreciate a few visitors – supporters with cellphones and cameras to thoroughly record any deviations from the promised peaceful party, and equipment ready to set up at various distances from the problem flat to record noise levels and any objectionable language. I get the feeling police would rather not know about his concerns. Funny the way they tend to go invisible at certain times, but emerge to utter warnings against members of the public taking matters into their own hands.

  2. Elizabeth

    View the luxury accommodation at —you can appreciate Mr Leng’s concerns for his business.

    Or check out Chapel Apartments Dunedin at Google Images.

  3. Jackson

    It seems to becoming the Dunedin way. When things become too hot you refuse to talk or, better still, go on a holiday.

  4. Jon

    Jon Leng’s View.

    I would like to make it very clear that I am not against students.
    But I have got a problem when they get filled up on alcohol and start making problems for my accommodation business and my guests.

    The tenants of number two View Street have been causing problems for the residents in the area and my business for the last five years.

    The worst incident we have had was when one of the drunk students fell through my back window and landed on the balcony of one of my apartments on the inside. He was covered in blood and unconscious.
    I had two ladies and three small children staying in my apartment for two nights, this happened at 2 o’clock in the morning.
    Can you imagine how my guest felt?
    The ambulance and police arrived, no charges were laid by the police and no compensation was paid to me or my guest.
    When I discussed the issue with the police the following day and I asked them why no charges were laid, the police response was
    It was an accident, nobody’s fault.
    So I said to the police, the student accidentally got drunk.
    I then suggested I get accidentally drunk, get in my car and kill your wife and child, Will there be no charges for me,
    After that the police were not interested in discussing the matter any further with me, Funny that ….

    I built up Chapel apartments from a derelict building and it has been voted number one accommodation in Dunedin. And I’m going to do my very best to keep it that way.

    In the last five years the DCC, the police, and the university have done absolutely nothing to fix this problem.

    DCC, DAVE CULL. Get off your f__king arse and do something. (A liquor ban in View Street would be a good start)
    DUNEDIN POLICE. In the last five years you been as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.
    MEL AITKEN. I was the person that laid the complaint, so as a taxpayer and a ratepayer I have every right to know what was happening regarding the safety of my guests, properly. Pretty gutless on your behalf.
    Maybe you should be investigated.


  5. Elizabeth

    Thanks Jon. The post is receiving the highest views today (out of 140 posts viewed), and only published at 7:00pm, meteoric rise…. very good reception!
    People in City Rise affected by popup parties keyed in, sympathetic to your cause. Emails flying….

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Result! “… was decided, if the event did go ahead, council and police staff would be on site to monitor the event.”

      might have to comply with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2013

      • Elizabeth

        Extremely tenuous. But what to do after police assault a member of the public, at their central police station!

        • Hype O'Thermia

          I suspect this site’s refusal to let ongoing issues fade into tactful mists that has contributed to the decision of police and DCC to drop their normal practice of being frightfully busy somewhere else until major mayhem erupts. The ODT did a good job of the initial report of police mistreatment of innocent person trying to get attention to a known (it’s got history – has it ever!) event venue planning another troublemakers’ flare-up.
          Mr Leng does not sound like the kind of man who will let assault by police go quietly into the bulging file marked “Dolly / the dead guy did it. No further action required.”
          I’m sure we’ll read about any further developments here. With luck the local “professional” media will also be onto this like a dog with a bone. It’s all very well ignoring dysfunctional authorities, until one day when you need them they’ve sunk so deep into uselessness or corruption that they won’t help you, even it you’re used to seeing yourself as high on the social ladder. People currently on that rung should think on’t and do their duty to keep the “traditional good guys” good.
          Allied Press – you hearing the message?

  6. Pb

    Make public drunkedness an offence (it used to be law) then enforce it. Give police ability to ticket drunks with $1000 on the spot fines.

    Or, seek recourse with Don Corleone. The public path is lined with neutered officials. What if Dunedin grew a pair.

  7. Elizabeth

    Any respect had for Inspector Melanie (Mel) Aitken is now completely demolished given her shoddy treatment of local businessman Jon Leng yesterday. She can’t hide any more under that vacuous police cap of hers.

    And another thing, Aitken has done SFA to bring charges in relation to multiple instances of cyberbullying and intimidation of another View Street resident since 10 May. Why?

    Whatifdunedin sees that Andrew Coster has a liability on his hands, to add to his pile of incompetents at Dunedin Central.


    “They broke my glasses when they smacked me in the head.” –Jon Leng

    ### ODT Online Thu, 16 Jul 2015
    Complaining leads to complaint
    By Rhys Chamberlain
    A man who says police ”won’t take him seriously” has been left with an abrasion on his head and broken glasses after being forcibly removed from the Dunedin Central Police Station. View St property owner Jon Leng said two police officers removed him after he refused to leave yesterday afternoon.
    Read more

  8. Elizabeth

    Ms Aitken again, all sweetness and light this time…. too late.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 16 Jul 2015
    Warning over View St event
    By Damian George
    The Dunedin City Council and police have warned organisers of tomorrow night’s controversial View St party the event could fall under the city’s strict alcohol supply and sale provisions. In a media statement, council general manager services and development Simon Pickford and Inspector Mel Aitken, of Dunedin police, said the party might have to comply with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2013.
    Read more


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Joint Media Statement

    This item was published on 15 Jul 2015

    Over the past few days, the Dunedin City Council and Dunedin Police have received a number of calls regarding an event planned at a View St address which has caused some concern amongst nearby residents.

    As a result of these concerns, DCC and Police staff have spoken with the occupants regarding their host responsibilities as the event may fall under the provisions of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2013.
    The DCC and Police would like to reassure these residents that if the event does go ahead, both organisations will be monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action in regards to any incident that may arise.
    The DCC and Dunedin Police would like to remind all Dunedin residents about their responsibilities when it comes to hosting large events and urge them to be familiar with these before planning an event.
    Staff from both the DCC and Police are more than happy to discuss these responsibilities with any resident who may be planning to host a similar event in the future

    Contact DCC on 477 4000. DCC Link

    • Elizabeth

      ### July 16, 2015 – 5:37pm
      Police to keep eye on planned View Street party
      Police and council officers are keeping a close eye on View Street, where a large party is planned to the dismay of neighbours.

  9. russandbev

    Sadly this is yet another example of the appalling attitude and culture of the Dunedin Police. Sad that there is such a climate and sad that the police seem to just dig themselves further into their self-created hole. No doubt at all from Mr Leng’s account and his injuries and damage to his glasses that the police used excessive force to remove him.

    But how about an alternative?

    Meet Mr Leng, listen carefully to his concerns, take them seriously, visit the “boys” from View Street and lay down the law. Would this have been a better course of action? Damn right, but that is not the culture of the Dunedin police. Tell the complainant nothing and treat them like a criminal. It is extremely hard to find too many examples of policing in Dunedin that earns respect these days.

    Of course the DCC could do more as well and I’m certain that either the University or Polytech could do more. How? The DCC could apply pressure via the landlord of these cretins, and the tertiary institution could immediately haul the students in and apply their own disciplinary measures for bringing the institution into disrespect.

  10. Meg55

    Well call me naive, but I take heart from the fact that the police and DCC will be at View St on Sat night. It’s just a pity that once again it has taken the desperate action of a resident and more negative publicity for Dunedin in the media to make the authorities think ‘oh shit, we’d better do something.’

    The North Dunedin accord (with stakeholders vowing to collaborate to address out-of-control drunken behaviour in the student are) needs to be extended to City Rise, where the problems are just the same. And it’s about time we learned what the signatories to the accord are doing. It’s been two months now.

    I agree with russandbev that bad landlords should be called to account but I don’t think the DCC or anyone else has the legal teeth to do this at present. In fact, the DCC is positively encouraging the proliferation of high-density rental accommodation in City Rise and developers are having a field day at the expense of the dwindling number of permanent residents and the heritage character of the area.

  11. Meg55

    What a long time it has taken for the View St saga to come to a head … Just found this on ODT online – from MORE THAN THREE YEARS AGO.

    • Elizabeth

      What if? Dunedin has received the following copy from a View Street resident for our file reference:

      1. Resident’s letter sent to Kevin Mechen, dated 13 April 2011.
      2. Printout of all Jon Leng’s emergency calls for the period Sat, 22 February to Sun, 9 March 2014 (111 Police, DCC 034774000, and one other network).
      3. Retracted ODT article, written by Hamish McNeilly, ‘Partying during ad filming outrages neighbours’ (? Mon, 10 March 2014).
      4. Letter from Auckland guest affected by ‘Party Central’, dated 11 March 2014.

      [click to enlarge]
      Retracted article, View St Backpackers - ODT (est. Mon 10.3.14). Supplied

      █ Download: Retracted Article ODT est. Mon, 10 Mar 2014. Supplied. (PDF, 200KB)

  12. Peter

    It seems the Dunedin police can’t do anything right. It’s about leadership….or, in this case, lack of it. Andrew Coster needs to work overtime to sort out his team and put competent people in the right positions. No excuses must be given to cops who probably should not be there and who put the police in a bad light. The public need to once again have respect for the police. As it is they are a joke. They have fucked up so many investigations in recent times. We can agree they have a tough job, but this sympathy for them is running out.
    I have lost confidence in the police. It would take a bit to win it back.

  13. russandbev

    Peter, you are not the only one to lose confidence in the police. The Central Otago District Mayor, Tony Lepper was reported as saying that the police would have to earn respect again after that appalling case where they caused an accident on Earnscleugh Road, tried to hide their culpability, lied in Court, prosecuted the innocent party and caused years of grief – only outed by the determined efforts of a local man. They still have not, to my knowledge, made any heartfelt apologies – far more important to them to retain this pig-headed attitude of “we’re right and we’ll protect our own at all costs”. The response from the local cops was typical – they immediately climbed into the Mayor for daring to make the comments.

    I know from my own experiences with the police that they are not interested in pursuing things that might be difficult and they always use this “not enough evidence to prosecute” which is an easy way out when you haven’t bothered to investigate in any case.

  14. Elizabeth

    Note: Simon Pickford’s minimal approach to letter writing.

    Received from View Street resident.
    Thu, 16 Jul 2015 at 3:46 p.m.

    █ Message: FYI… and again street noise from those coming and going whether it’s 50 or 5,000 doesn’t rate a consideration. Disruption is pretty much guaranteed. Let’s hope it rains!

    From: Simon Pickford [DCC]
    Date: 16 July 2015 14:48:45 NZST
    To: {View Street resident, name withheld. -Eds}
    Cc: Sue Bidrose [DCC], Simon Thompson [University Proctor], Mark Miller [Edinburgh Realty], Kevin Mechen [DCC], John Sule [DCC], Cr David Benson-Pope, Mayor Dave Cull
    Subject: RE: Another party at the Backpackers makes news

    Hello {name withheld}

    We have worked closely with the Police and Fire Service over the last few days to put in place a plan to deal with any issues:

    1. Police have advised the tenants that they run the risk of the Police seeking a prosecution under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, in terms of operating a ‘place of resort’.
    2. The Police have got an extra number of staff on Friday night focusing on the Octagon – they will also be available to attend View Street if necessary.
    3. Noise Control will attend if there is a noise complaint – they can seize the noise equipment under the existing Abatement Notice – if they need to visit they will be accompanied by the Police.
    4. Max building occupancy – the owners, owner’s agent and the tenants have been advised that the maximum occupancy is 50.
    5. The tenants have been advised that if they exceed the maximum occupancy the building will be classified as dangerous and Police/Building Control can issue a dangerous building notice and require the numbers to be reduced to a safe level.
    6. Our after-hours service (477 4000) has been alerted to the party and know who to contact if a complaint is received.




    From: {View Street resident, name withheld. -Eds}
    Subject: Another party at the Backpackers makes news
    Date: 14 July 2015 2:11:07 pm NZST
    To: Mayor Dave Cull
    Cc: Sue Bidrose [DCC Chief Executive], Simon Pickford [General Manager Services and Development], Simon Thompson [Proctor, University of Otago], Mark Miller [General Manager, Edinburgh Realty], Kevin Mechen [DCC Liquor Licensing Co-ordinator/Project Officer], John Sule [DCC Senior Planner], Cr David Benson-Pope [Dunedin City Council]

    Please find attached the letter received recently from the tenants of the Backpackers informing us of their intention to hold a Ball of 130 people at No.2 View St. What greater evidence can you have that this property is no ordinary neighbour to contend with living and working beside?

    Does this venue comply with fire regulations for this many people?
    Are they charging for entry, entertainment, food and liquor, as this would surely constitute a commercial enterprise and require permits?

    We know this place hasn’t complied with noise restrictions for years, with noise abatement notices issued and still enforceable.

    Is there a door charge to cover potential fine costs, as there has been in the past? The last 5 years of annual University of Otago Code of Conduct punishments issued prove these are water off a duck’s back and completely ineffective.

    While the tenants might not necessarily be the perpetrators, visiting people noise (yelling, screaming and whistling) or car doors slamming at all hours don’t seem to constitute disruption as far as anyone sees it and becomes well beyond the control of a couple of security people.

    What provision is made for overheating and toilet facilities for this many people? {Sentences deleted. -Eds}

    The last time residents were informed of an ‘organised’ event like it at this address was 3 years ago, we felt relieved to be supplied with a cellphone contact for the evening. That invitation-only, triple 21st celebration saw crowds grow beyond the control of those manning the affair. The police and fire brigade were called out, the place evacuated and at least 300 people ended up partying so loud out on the street, that the contact person couldn’t even hear his cellphone! Partying and fighting continued until Police were freed up enough to eventually arrive in force and usher people away at around 3am. The resulting mess was left for the DCC services and permanent residents to clean up the following week. Retaliation and resentment from successive groups of tenants at the Backpackers, has been a constant factor {…} Long term renters have left the area, to be replaced by people attracted to the nightclub and party scene.

    While we appreciate this attempt is an improvement on the usual behaviour of just going ahead unannounced anyway with a large scale function and commandeering the street, we fail to see how the organisers can guarantee that we will not have to contend with disruption once these 130+ people have had a drink or two. {…} Some may end up partying out on the roof again, as occurred most recently in February, where one person rather conveniently “fell” directly onto a DCC noise control officer, who was confiscating their sound equipment.

    It’s a fact partying around Dunedin has become increasingly defiant in recent years and more so since the Sunday programme. {…}

    Police {have been informed} of our concerns. No doubt they’ll be stretching their resources again to cover the situation as best they can. It could well be a test case for how events like it may be run in other areas of this city for parties hosting over a certain number of guests. {…}

    ● Attachment: Ball at Backpackers, letter (PDF, 493 KB)


  15. Elizabeth

    Received from View Street resident.
    Thu, 16 Jul 2015 at 5:10 p.m.

    █ Message: My responses to Pickford & Co…

    On 16/07/2015, at 4:39 pm, {name withheld} wrote:

    Thank you everyone

    At last, you are taking this situation seriously with some sensible measures in place. THANK YOU!

    Let’s hope it’s not just wishful thinking, as experience has also taught us these adolescents can talk all grown up and professional till the cows come home, but when drunk, whether its 50 or 500 packed into that place, it never ends well for us. People noise is the eternal problem with the acoustics amplified the further up the hill you go, so disruption is a ‘given’ every single party.

    We’re hoping for rain.

    {name withheld}


    Begin forwarded message:

    From: {name withheld}
    Subject: Re: Another party at the Backpackers makes news
    Date: 16 July 2015 5:06:31 pm NZST
    To: Simon Pickford [DCC]
    Cc: Sue Bidrose [DCC], Simon Thompson [University Proctor], Mark Miller [Edinburgh Realty], Kevin Mechen [DCC], John Sule [DCC], Cr David Benson-Pope, Mayor Dave Cull

    Further to my last email.

    Without a liquor ban in this area, there is STILL nothing to stop crowds outside this venue from partying in the street, (as it’s currently not an illegal activity) and technically they wouldn’t be occupying the building. I understand from speaking with the Police on several occasions that they are in favour of a liquor ban up here. While the weather is cold it’s not so much of a concern, but the measures you have now introduced could actually exacerbate this street party problem for us in summer.

    {name withheld}


  16. Elizabeth

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    Music: “This Summer” by Maroon 5 (Google Play • iTunes)

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    SIX60 – Don’t Forget Your Roots
    Available on iTunes:

  17. Elizabeth

    Tonight from 5:30pm, whatifdunedin was sitting at Wharf Hotel with Jon Leng and another friend, watching 2 View Street on iPad (CCTV footage) – the lead-in to ‘The Ball’.

    One guy on cell phone outside the property standing on the street (security?) looked bored, like he’d turned to concrete (and no, the video feed hadn’t frozen). Very Dr Who.

    Few arriving for the party (sorry, Ball!) – it has to end early at 11:30pm.
    What sort of party is that…. one heavily leaned on by Police and DCC, that’s what. Hahahaha.

    Perhaps everyone’s at home pre-loading. Or has the Backpackers Ball been cancelled / deferred ?

    If after 11:30 there’s mayhem on View Street, it will all be caught on video.
    They who dare, dare think twice.

  18. Jon


    Thank you to the people who have supported us.

    I think we have made a difference and succeeded on this View Street Ball.
    I went to some pretty extreme measures to get the attention of the police (yes they are the ones that gave me a biff in the head).
    DCC got involved in the situation and we discussed things that could be done. Dave Cull returned my phone call and met with me at very short notice and discussed the procedures that DCC had already put in place for this particular night. Good work by the DCC, I hope it is ongoing.

    The Otago Daily Times reporters also did a good job. Cheers.

    Last week was a very hectic week for me, and this sort of thing can take up a lot of your time. This week I haven’t really got much planned, it’s probably going to be a little bit dull!!!

    Actually I have a little bit of a headache over this (could it be post Biff concussion syndrome). I think I will take my solicitor’s advice on this.
    Yous guys in the DUNEDIN POLICE are running a circus down there, one of you clowns got OUT OF ORDER.

    One more thing.
    I would also like to thank the boys from two View Street.
    I think you have seen the consequences that may occur and the trouble and inconvenience you cause to other people, and you have made the right decision and will probably get more respect this way.

    P.S. Cyber bullying is not very clever, and it is very easy to trace back to where it came from, let’s just say NO to cyber bullying as well.

    Take care all.

    Jon Leng

  19. Elizabeth

    Good work Jon, for crunching View with wake-up calls for police, media and DCC. Sets precedents for others to follow in cleaning up City Rise~!!!

    [we point out the relatively low cost of CCTV cameras to property owners, worth researching – you can self install to keep labour costs out of it]

    The big Dundas St party advertised on Facebook and elsewhere was supposed to take place on Saturday night (18 July), according to Fairfax journalist Hamish McNeilly who personally knows the ‘host’ –

    28.5.15 Stuff: Almost 5000 indicate attendance at Dunedin student party

    Any reports? Did the party happen or was it shut down?

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