As the court system
finishes with last year's offenders, a new group of
participants is understood to be gearing up to head south for
the annual rally formerly known as the Undie 500.
It is believed the last of about 57 people, all men, who
faced charges after last year's Undie 500 disorder, was
finally dealt with in the Dunedin District Court last week.
Of the 57 charged, more than 20 were dealt with in courts
At the Dunedin District Court, 22 people were convicted (nine
of those on two charges), five were diverted, two were
discharged without conviction, one had his charge dismissed
and one had charges against him withdrawn. One man who
appealed his conviction on a disorderly likely to cause
violence charge in the High Court had his appeal dismissed
and the conviction upheld.
Of the 16 people initially charged with rioting, 15 received
at least one conviction on lesser charges, mostly disorderly
behaviour and obstructing police, and one was discharged
The 31 people who faced court in Dunedin were ordered to pay
more than $16,500 in reparations, fines, donations and court
Two people were penalised with 100 hours' and 150 hours'
community work respectively.
Dunedin lawyers said court-imposed penalties were not the
only costs those charged had to bear.
Some returned to court up to eight times for their clients,
which could have incurred lawyers' fees of about $1000 at the
lower end, up to $5000 if a client had multiple appearances.
Inspector Alastair Dickie, the officer in charge of the
police response to the Undie 500 disorder last year, was
pleased there had been more convictions than discharges.
Penalties for some individuals of up to $2000, including
reparations, fines and court costs, should act as a deterrent
to others considering the same sort of behaviour at any event
this year, he said.
Despite both the official Undie 500 rally this year and an
official replacement event, Trek 08, being cancelled, Dunedin
police were still prepared for any eventuality, he said.
This month it was reported some students still planned to
drive to Dunedin.
Police understood there was a rugby match involving the
Canterbury University Engineering Students Association
(Ensoc, the traditional organisers of the Undie 500) in
Dunedin on the weekend of August 23, and expected people
would travel south for that.
Police would prepare for the arrival of rallygoers, including
the deployment of staff from the Canterbury region to Dunedin
for the weekend, Insp Dickie said.