The number of revellers at the annual Hyde St keg party is
about to be curtailed, as stakeholders try to minimise the
impact of the all-day street party.
An estimated 5000 people attended last year's party, which
featured 15 arrests, a roof overloaded with partygoers
collapsing and 80 people requiring treatment by St John.
While the keg party was not an Otago University Students'
Association (OUSA) event, the association was assisting
street residents and stakeholders to organise a safer event,
OUSA president Francisco Hernandez said.
Stakeholders include tenants, landlords, police, St John, the
Fire Service, Dunedin City Council and the University of
A debriefing after last year's party indicated ''a need to
reduce numbers''. Concerns were also raised about safety and
non-students attending the event, Mr Hernandez said.
The OUSA had met Hyde St tenants and other stakeholders to
discuss this year's event, the date for which had not yet
been confirmed. A meeting for students would be held at noon
on Monday at the Union Hall to discuss plans.
''We are at the very early stages still and it needs to be
clear that the event is run by the tenants of Hyde St, and
that OUSA is just one of many stakeholders involved to try
and help them run a safe and positive event with a focus on
However, a plan to limit the number of party-goers to between
2500 and 3000 - with each tenant of the one-way street
allowed only 15 invitations - sparked heated debate on the
OUSA Facebook page.
Mr Hernandez told Channel 9 if students were not willing to
negotiate the terms of the event, there was a risk they could
lose it all together, as the recently rejected North Dunedin
liquor ban proposal could be back on the table.
On the same Facebook page he wrote: ''At Hyde Street last
year far too many people got far too wasted''.
''It needs to be said, OUSA put only a small amount of money
in to the event compared to what the taxpayer was effectively
left with, particularly the health services,'' the post said.
Dunedin-Clutha area commander Inspector Greg Sparrow said
police were actively involved in meetings for the event, but
their position on the Hyde St party was clear.
''While police don't support the Hyde St party, we are aware
of the need to work with stakeholders to make the event as
safe as possible.''
Cr Kate Wilson, who was behind efforts that resulted in the
council decision not to expand Dunedin's CBD liquor ban to
North Dunedin, as was suggested after last year's Hyde St
party, said she hoped the party-goers were as prepared to
make a better go of the event as their representatives, the
Mayor Dave Cull said if things got out of hand the council
could technically shut down future parties, as it did the
Toga Parade, but he was ''increasingly confident'' it would
not come to that. He believed the council would not
reconsider a liquor ban in the area if the party went bad, as
it would be difficult to do under new liquor legislation.
He was optimistic the party, which was increasingly better
run each year, would be even better controlled this year.
''This is their chance to prove they can do things
responsibly etc, and what OUSA is proposing in terms of
limits on the party is fabulous.''