After the earthquake, we had a fantastic response by the Student Volunteer Army.
Meanwhile in Dunedin, the students are making sure that that young people retain their irresponsible reputation.
“Earlier on Saturday night, the fires were mostly couches related to parties. But later on, at 4 or 5 on Sunday morning, they seemed to be more malicious.
“It looked like people were coming home from a night out, setting fire to something lying on the street, and then going to bed.
“If the wind gets up and blows the embers under a roof, they could set fire to flats. And if they don’t have working smoke alarms …”
Acting Sergeant Chris MacAulay and two of his colleagues found themselves helping out the fire service when they noticed a banner hung in front of one of the Hyde St flats during the annual street party on fire about 8.30pm on Saturday.
“The flames climbed up the banner and reached an open top floor window and set the curtains on fire,” he said.
Realising the fire service had no chance of getting through the crowd, the trio ran into the house and beat the fire out.
However, their actions were not appreciated by one of the residents of the flat, who confronted them, demanding to know why they were there.
“He was really drunk. I doubt he’ll remember it and I doubt the occupants of the flat will have any idea what happened to their curtains,” Acting Sgt MacAulay said.
The “stupidity” of the person who set the banner on fire appalled Acting Sgt MacAulay.
“In my opinion, it shows a very low level of intelligence and the perpetrator had a reckless disregard for the safety of others.
I filled up in North Dunedin that afternoon. There were students everywhere, in some very creative costumes but clearly many were very drunk and behaving quite badly.
Perhaps we need interest free student loans conditional on good behaviour and community service? There is certainly a culture of entitlement that did not exist a few years ago.