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Posts tagged ‘Student Riots’

ODT on Student Riots

The ODT have some good points.

It is worth reminding those who participated in the weekend’s North Dunedin disturbance of the unequivocal warning issued by Judge Stephen O’Driscoll in the Dunedin court after last year’s disorder: There was a clear need to deter students from starting and fuelling fires in North Dunedin, the judge said, and if the university and the community could not stop the disorder, it was appropriate the court do what it could.

Fair warning, one would think, both to the students who this year chose to ignore it, and the non-students who so foolishly decided to get involved.

Add Judge O’Driscoll’s remarks to the action by the University of Otago to reinforce its own rules, the Dunedin City Council’s special temporary liquor ban imposed in anticipation of this event, and the firm action by police, together with the attendant publicity, then anyone with a modicum of common sense would realise the futility of challenging the rule of law.

But the freedom to assemble, which is a fundamental right in this democratic country, does not carry with it the freedom for unlawful behaviour.

Nor do our freedom of speech rules include permission to debate with police their lawful order to disperse, nor privacy beliefs include consent to throw bottles from inside the fence.

Those who were arrested, if convicted, fully deserve what the courts will now deliver to them.


It’s a funny thing about students. They claim to have no money, but they certainly don’t act like it. I guess this behavior is consistent with having a lot of learning left to do however. Unfortunately, this is the sort of learning that Section 59 allowed for, and that’s far too late for this lot.

Havana owner Jan Stevenson said she asked the first four to leave after they smashed a window and spilled red wine in their room.

“I showed no mercy there and I thought, ‘Oh well, this will deter them [the other students]’, but nothing did,” she said yesterday.

“They were honestly like a pack of wild animals. It was horrible.”

Mrs Stevenson, 52, said she decided to evict the remaining students after they defied non-smoking rules, and left alcohol and food rubbish everywhere.

“They’re meant to be poor, impoverished students but I’ve never seen so much alcohol ever consumed.”

She had to shampoo carpets in at least 12 rooms and dryclean every duvet and bedspread when they left, She estimated the clean-up would cost $5000 to $6000.

Cleveland Motel owner Cynthia Hawkins told a similar story, saying she had already recorded damage worth $2300, including a broken bed and wrecked toasters and kettles.

After discovering a television set ruined by beer spilled through it, she said the final cost would likely be about $3500.

“We had one room totally trashed and it had vomit from one end to the next. You couldn’t move in it because it had so many crates of beer.”

Ms Hawkins said the students were intoxicated from the day they arrived and ignored rules banning glass in the motel’s mineral pool.

“Beer bottles were floating around in the pool.”

But there’s another side to this! Oh yes, they was robbed, robbed gov’ner!

But games organisers say the moteliers overreacted, punishing a large group of students for the actions of a few and acting in an “inhumane and unjustifiable” way towards the main group.


He said the 88 students at Cleveland Motel had been told to leave at 10.30pm on Thursday in pouring rain, prompting University Sport NZ to call police.

Oh, the poor wee darlings had to leave in the rain, so they called up the boys in blue.

I guess if you can’t get them to fix the damage, watching get their marching orders out into the cold, wet night by the police they called is some small consolation.

Update: It gets better.

These students may now get kicked out of university. Remember, they called the police.

Victoria University vice-chancellor Pat Walsh said he met student leaders today and asked for a detailed report on the incidents.

“I am very concerned about this issue and it is my firm view that any inappropriate behaviour by students is unacceptable,” he said.

Prof Walsh said the university had a statute governing student behaviour and set procedures applying in circumstances where acceptable standards of conduct were not met.

“The statute covers any conduct which directly relates to a person’s status as a student of the university including behaviour while in attendance at the University Games.

“Penalties under the student conduct statute range from being required to give an apology to an aggrieved party, to an exclusion from enrolment for up to two years.”

Think they’ve worked out by now that they were the ones in the wrong?

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