Hyde Street Galvanises Fun Police

Battle lines have been drawn over the much-publicised North Dunedin Liquor Ban proposed by the DCC.

The liquor ban proposal has been sitting on the table since the beginning of the year. The council’s initial proposal was debated heatedly on campus early in the semester but it seemed to sit on the back burner in recent weeks.

But along came Hyde Street.

Caved-in roofs, unruly behaviour and public intoxication have brought the proposed liquor ban roaring straight back into the student spotlight. Locals see it as a potential solution for future mayhem. Students, not so much.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has said that “this is not about control, this is about keeping people safe”. The DCC has officially approved the proposal and the only thing standing in its way is the submissions process.

Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne added, “We have to do more than just ban students from being on roofs.” Landlords have called for tighter control and tougher penalties for people who misbehave and damage property. Police reportedly support the proposal if it can reduce harm.

OUSA submitted one of seven submissions regarding the liquor ban to the DCC. Their submission is accompanied by a petition which gained thousands of signatures earlier in the semester to form an unstoppable one-two punch to defend student freedoms.

OUSA cites recent improvements in student behaviour and a marked change in attitude against anti-social behaviour from the general student population, both of which make the ban unnecessary. OUSA’s submission claims that “The 2012 Hyde Street Keg Party went as planned and the issues that remain can be remedied,” and the association proposes a more proactive strategy for reducing anti-social behaviour rather than a blanket ban which may become unenforceable.

The 30-day period for making submissions closed on March 26 but if you have something to say on this one the DCC will still accept e-mailed submissions.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2012.
Posted 7:07pm Sunday 1st April 2012 by Gus Gawn.