'No ban' decision welcome

A recommendation not to impose a liquor ban in North Dunedin has been welcomed by the University of Otago in an apparent change of heart after it earlier spoke in favour of the ban.

This comes after the Dunedin City Council subcommittee this week recommended against a ban instead pushing for a ''collaborative approach being developed by key stakeholders'' to address alcohol-related issues in North Dunedin and the city. Last year, the university submitted in favour of a ban with vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne suggesting there could be merit in extending the ban to include the entire city. However, in an apparent change of heart, Prof Hayne said yesterday the university supported the subcommittee's recommendation.

''The decision not to impose a liquor ban is consistent with the university's view that, in isolation, liquor bans do not reduce dangerous drinking.

''We appreciate that the DCC's committee consulted widely and we support their conclusion,'' Prof Hayne said.

Otago University Students' Association president Francisco Hernandez also welcomed the decision.

''We are pleased at the opportunity to work further with the DCC and other stakeholders to ensure a collaborative approach to harm minimisation is achieved,'' Mr Hernandez said.

The discussions had already yielded positive results, he said.

''Discussions to date have included halving the size of Hyde St by making it an invitation event from residents, ensuring all guests are registered at the OUSA and have a personalised identifiable wristband.''