Cull's Column | Issue 12

Council recently received a report about the 2016 Orientation period. It included feedback from the University of Otago, the Otago University Students Association (OUSA), Otago Polytechnic Students Association and Dunedin Police.

The report’s conclusion? That, overall, Orientation 2016 went very well with a good range of fun, safe events and less antisocial behaviour, damage and litter in the North Dunedin area compared to previous years. 

This year’s Orientation events, particularly those held by OUSA, went exceptionally well. OUSA has taken a collaborative approach to organising their events which has continued to improve the safety systems that are in place. This resulted in a series of events which proved popular with students and were successful in providing a fun and safe place for them to have a good time. 

Council staff have been working hard on proactive steps around litter, noise control and alcohol. This included more regular litter patrols and cleaning, supplemented by the University holding a number of ‘skip days’ for students to dispose of excess rubbish. DCC’s Customer Services Agency received no complaints about litter in the student area during the Orientation period. We did receive more noise complaints this year. However the use of Excessive Noise Directions was a good deterrent as the complaints were dealt with more effectively at the first visit by noise control staff. So there was actually a decrease in the number of repeated noise complaints and fewer stereos seized. 

So much of the credit for a successful Orientation period must go to you, the students. 

Unfortunately, the Castle Street balcony collapse – which occurred at a private event not organised by students or OUSA – overshadowed what was otherwise an extremely positive start to the year. My thoughts are very much with those injured and their families. In order to help prevent something like this from happening again, the Council is working with the University of Otago and OUSA to review the circumstances around that event, with a view to establishing guidelines for future events not organised by the Students’ Associations. 

The overall goal must be to ensure that students, and the wider community, have a safe and enjoyable time during Orientation and throughout the year – that’s in the best interests of all of us. 

Dave Cull
Mayor of Dunedin

This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2016.
Posted 12:11pm Sunday 22nd May 2016 by Dave Cull .