South Dunedin Blamed for all Problems
Alternatives to the proposed liquor ban are being sought following a meeting between OUSA, Dunedin City Council representatives, and the Youth Action Committee on Tuesday July 24.
The Council’s Liquor Ban Implementation Group delayed its decision on the liquor ban last month to consider various alternatives, although the ban is still an option. The Council will hold a series of similar meetings with relevant groups such as the police and the health sector.
The objective of the group is to curb harmful drinking among students, and at the end of the year the group will present the council with a recommendation which will be voted on. Councillor Kate Wilson commented to the ODT that “there is no point using ... [a liquor ban] as a tool if you are not going to get buy-in [from those affected].”
OUSA President Logan Edgar told Critic that although he’d “armoured-up” going into the meeting, he was pleased that the meeting’s objective was to find a better alternative to the “shit idea” that is the liquor ban.
Edgar told representatives at the meeting that “students aren’t the problems in society”, citing arrest figures during big student events: of the fifteen arrested during Orientation Week, only four were students; of the ten during the Hyde Street Keg Party, just one was a student; and of the 17 during the recent Re-Orientation Week, three were students. “One of them was for having a piss in the street, another one was for offensive language and the last one was for being drunk. The other ones are probably giving people hidings and stealing things, like the South Dunedin people.”
One of the more popular alternatives the group discussed was to clean up scarfie-ville. “If you drive through a nice suburb, it’s not fucked up. People respect places when they’re nice,” Edgar says. These plans to clean up North Dunedin would potentially include a glass ban, and would capitalise on the passion for the environment shown by many students by putting out more recycling bins.
Another idea is to open more student pubs in the area, which are inherently safer places for people to drink due to regulation, support by proprietors, liquor licensing, and police. However, the closure of several student pubs such as the Bowler and Gardies has reduced the number of licensed premises close to studentville. “It’s like the Indians have all surrounded the last railway carriage that is the Cook,” says Edgar. The proposed bars don’t even need to be spread out – Edgar likes the idea of a good local bar area for students around the Cook area, and says OUSA are going to “have a think about a few different bar options around there.”