The Otago University Students' Association would think
twice about holding Orientation Week events at Forsyth Barr
Stadium if the Dunedin City Council sticks with an 11.30pm
OUSA yesterday objected to the conditions of a resource
consent which meant the two music events it plans to hold at
the stadium in O-Week would have to finish at 11.30pm.
This comes after there were 58 noise complaints as a result
of last year's O-Week events at the stadium, which had to
finish by midnight. OUSA also objected to conditions
restricting sound checks to two hours and requiring it to
monitor the noise of the two events.
OUSA general manager Darel Hall called on the council's
hearings committee to reinstate the midnight cut-off.
If the council did not change the time, the association would
think twice about holding events at the stadium and instead
look at holding more events at the Union Hall on campus,
where there were no restrictions.
Not allowing events to run until midnight could also result
in more anti-social O-Week behaviour as students would spend
more time in an unsupervised environment, Mr Hall said.
Not having O-Week events at the stadium could ''damage the
reputation of the city'' as New Zealand's ''premier''
location for students and a drop in student numbers would hit
the city's economy, he said.
Some of the complaints made by residents last year would be
addressed by the fact that fewer O-Week activities were being
held at the stadium this year - two events as opposed to four
main events last year - and OUSA would be carrying out a
leaflet drop to the worst-affected areas, he said.
This year's biggest act Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore and
Ryan Lewis were also less bass-heavy than Shapeshifter, which
attracted the most complaints last year.
Mr Hall said the issue could have been resolved if the
council had discussed its concerns with OUSA.
The University of Otago supported OUSA's objection, with
student services director David Richardson and property
services division policy adviser Katrina Roos speaking on
behalf of a submission signed by vice-chancellor Prof Harlene
Hayne, who was out of the city.
''The committee's decision over the finishing time for the
events will have a significant consequences for OUSA's use of
the Forsyth Barr Stadium in the future,'' Ms Roos said.
Mr Richardson said it was a matter of student safety.
''At the stadium, students can be easily supervised and
monitored. Once they leave the stadium, it is much more
difficult to ensure their safety.''
Council senior planner John Sule said he ''sat on the fence''
whether to extend to midnight, but agreed with OUSA's other
He could see both sides of the argument regarding the
midnight cut-off and it was up to the committee to balance
residents' concerns against those of the OUSA and university.
The committee needed to consider whether extending to
midnight would have a ''more than minor'' impact on
residents, in which case affected parties would have to be
notified before consent was issued. Council senior
environmental officer Wayne Boss, who monitored sound after
last year's complaints, said residents had legitimate
At last year's events, people living a ''considerable
distance'' from the stadium could clearly hear the noise from
Hearing committee chairman Colin Weatherall said a decision
would be made quickly.