Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull welcomes thousands of first year students to the University of Otago at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday, saying they come to the city as 'new citizens ... and not tourists'. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Students should make the most of what Dunedin has to offer
beyond just the student quarter, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull told
a group of thousands of first-years at Forsyth Barr Stadium
Mr Cull who, along with University of Otago vice-chancellor
Prof Harlene Hayne and Otago University Students' Association
president Francisco Hernandez, welcomed students to the city
yesterday, said students brought ''vibrancy and youth'' to
''You come into Dunedin to make a new beginning and you come
here as citizens, not visitors and not tourists. You come
here as part of our community,'' he said.
Dunedin had plenty to offer students beyond just the student
quarter and he encouraged them to get out there and enjoy it.
''The whole city has a huge amount to offer you,'' he said.
While the students may have chosen to come to Dunedin because
of the university's reputation, they would also come to grow
fond of the city.
''You will leave here ... with an enormous sense of belonging
and affection for this place.''
He also reminded students of the benefits of being citizens
came with responsibilities.
''Anyone who thinks they can treat Dunedin like a sailor on
leave in a foreign port has come to the wrong place.''
It was also important to consider the risks of overindulging
in alcohol, he said.
''It can get a bit out of hand at times. The risks are to
your personal safety to your health and your financial
wellbeing, and those risks are real.''
Prof Hayne was also keen to remind students of their
responsibilities while in Dunedin.
''Remember that you should not do anything here that you
would not do on your own front door step.''
She also encouraged the students to make the most of their
opportunity at Otago University, saying they owed it to
taxpayers who paid for most of their tuition.
''You are about to embark on one of the greatest events of
your lifetime. In these stands this evening I am sure that we
have a future prime minister or two, some world class
surgeons and teachers who will inspire a new generation of
Mr Hernandez earlier highlighted the role of students in
society saying that they had the potential to make a
difference, as could be seen overseas in the role students
played in the Arab Spring.
''Society needs us to make a difference, society needs our
energy and enthusiasm,'' he said.