Police Respond to Dunedin Residents’ Complaints About Noise

Police Respond to Dunedin Residents’ Complaints About Noise

Disclaimer: This story is entirely fictional and was written by AI

In response to complaints from Dunedin residents about noise at student parties, police in the city have adopted a new, more conservative approach, involving specialised officers and increased surveillance of student housing areas.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced the new measures on Sunday. "We do want to make sure students are in their own space, safe from the abuse and threats from other members of the community," she told the NZ Herald. "We're simply saying ... let's work together as community leaders and police and University leaders and student leaders and make sure we don't have tragic deaths like in the past."

It comes amid mounting concern from some residents, who argue the 1,000 uni students who live in the city's southside are simply too loud and that the University of Otago has an inadequate response to the problem. Roz Jennings, the chairwoman of the city's South Dunedin Residents Association, said last week that "these universities should not be having parties on the weekend. You can't go to BNZ sports day, for example, and not have the sound system turned up for several hours," she told the Otago Daily Times.

In an interview with the Otago Daily Times, Mr Milliken acknowledged that their new campaign could increase friction between police and students. He said police were able to monitor the timing of events and police officers on foot patrols would be in the areas where they thought students would be. 

One student interviewed thought that the campaign could be seen as an infringement on students' freedom. "There's a huge pressure put on students to be a good citizen ... you'd think that anyone under the age of consent would have the maturity to know not to accept free drinks," one 22-year-old told the Otago Daily Times. "If I were an 18-year-old I would see it as getting a free drink - however, there is a lot of pressure put on us to look good."

However, many students welcomed the new measures, saying they would be more sensible than introducing a curfew on students. The changes had been "a long time coming" and were a sign of the community's genuine desire to improve student life, one 21-year-old student told the Otago Daily Times. "There has been a culture that has been prevalent for quite a long time ... and it's really nice to see that change. "But what can be done to stop the fact that we are going to continue to have all these parties?"

Students have commented that Dunedin's nightclubs are on the upper end of New Zealand's bar culture. Byerley's bar, an institution in Dunedin since 1929, is a popular venue among university students. Kama Restaurant & Bar, run by the Greek Orthodox Church, is a popular location for parties. A popular club night called DiscoBubble is held every Saturday night in the basement of Koru Lounge in the student precinct of Upper Stuart St.

This article first appeared in Issue 20, 2022.
Posted 3:35pm Friday 19th August 2022 by Nik Ferit and The Critical Tribune.