Students will be able to party until midnight at Forsyth Barr
Stadium this Orientation Week after the Dunedin City Council
agreed to change an earlier decision restricting events to an
This comes after the Otago University Students' Association
(OUSA) on Thursday objected to the conditions of a resource
consent, which would have meant the two music events it
planned to hold at the stadium in O-Week would have had to
finish at 11.30pm. The OUSA lobbied strongly for a midnight
The original consent for an 11.30pm finish followed 58 noise
complaints as a result of last year's O-Week events at the
stadium, which had been required to finish by midnight. It
took the council's hearings committee only a day to reinstate
the midnight finish time, with chairman Colin Weatherall
saying that ''on balance'' it was better for the council to
be supportive of O-Week events.
''We understand the stress and strain of shortage of sleep
... but on balance we think this is worth being supportive
It was important that Dunedin welcomed students, who were an
important part of the city.
''We believe we are a university town, we are a town that
wants to welcome 20% of our residents.''
The committee had taken on board OUSA and the University of
Otago's concerns about student safety, with both submitting
on Thursday that events at the stadium provided a supervised
environment and reduced the amount of antisocial behaviour.
The council was also keen to foster a ''new era'' of
co-operation between the university, the OUSA and the
Allowing the extra half hour came with the condition that the
OUSA increases the level of communication with residents who
could be affected by noise from the stadium. At Thursday's
meeting several council staff said a lack of communication
might have been part of why there were so many complaints
Cr Weatherall said the decision did not mean event-goers had
to be out of the stadium by midnight, only that the music had
to stop at midnight.
OUSA president Francisco Hernandez welcomed the decision and
thanked the committee for giving the OUSA a ''fair hearing''.
''We appreciate the DCC staff and the solid debate they have
provided, we understand they are often the meat in the
sandwich on these kinds of issues,'' he said.
The OUSA committed to better communication with the affected
residents so they knew when events were on and their