Rogue Undie descends into mayhem

Undie 500 weekend shame has hit Dunedin again, and this time police are looking to Otago students for the blame.

Police wearing full riot gear advanced three times on a crowd of about 500 chanting students who threw bottles and rocks at them in Castle St, before the crowd was forced backwards to the University of Otago campus and dispersed about 2am this morning.

Multiple arrests were made in what had been expected to be a relatively trouble-free night after a small turn-out for a rogue Undie 500-style rally from Christchurch on Friday and a quiet day in the student quarter yesterday.

More than 100 police officers rostered on for the weekend, which last year ended in student mayhem involving thousands of people and more than 60 arrests, were unable to contain students who gathered on Castle St to watch a couch fire set just as more young people poured from the Gardens Tavern about 11.50pm last night.

When a police skirmish line was set up around the fire students started danced in the street, chanting "scarfies on the piss" and throwing bottles at police. About 30 minutes later officers donned riot gear as they worked to clear the street.

Dunedin area police commander Inspector Dave Campbell said last night he was "thoroughly disappointed" by what happened.

"We thought the situation was under control, the day had gone quietly, it was pretty low-key, everyone was well behaved. This was definitely unexpected."

When police went in to break up the disorder, they became the entertainment, he said. He blamed the disorder on people drinking too much alcohol.

Asked if he was disappointed the arrival of about 100 Christchurch students in Dunedin on Friday as part of an unofficial Undie 500-style rally (the official 2008 Undie 500 was canned after last year's events) had apparently sparked another night of chaos Insp Campbell said he was not sure if those people were to blame.

"I don't know that we can blame Canterbury students for this one. There was only a small number of Canterbury students here. We may have to look at Otago students this time."

Undie 500

Agree with what Staire says. Hey its a lot easier if we call everyone students, seems a lot better than "youth"
Yes the people throwing bottles etc are idiots, I'm a student, and I wasn't anywhere near these students, nor do I know anyone who was there or condemns what happens.
But still as an "Otago Student" I am now part of the problem, if we listen to this publication.

Expulsion!

Well, I'm a student.
I see lots of students in those photos, especially around the Staff Club.
There are lots of photographs of lots of people drunk, along with disorderly conduct, as well as harassing the NZ Police.
They are clearly students, and some that are not.
Prosecute. Incarcerate. Expel.
The challenge for the University of Otago, is to enforce its own code of conduct within the 'Independent Student Ghetto of the South'.
If you are there, on camera, when you shouldn't be, then you should be expelled and prevented from entering ANY Australasian University.
As for their parents.... Bill them for the full costs. If your children can afford to get drunk like this, then you are responsible.
Dunedin ratepayers don't need this,.
The New Zealand taxpayer should not fund a giant day care institution.
Yours,
Bamm

Undie 500

'From what I've gathered'?
And what percentage of non-students lives on or frequents Castle Street?
Get a grip.
Of course it was students, and a pretty fair reflection of the prevalent student culture. That is, infantile, conservative, unintellectual and generally pretty pig ignorant.
In that respect you got the bogan bit right, but that doesn't mean they ain't students.

Shady info

First of all, the ODT claims that 500 people were causing the disturbance, while Radio New Zealand says there were 300 . In addition, ODT chooses to play the blame game by first stating that the crowd was composed exclusively of students, when there were several non-students present (just like last time). Last; an appalling lack of sources! Only inspector Campbell was interviewed for this article, and they choose to take his word alone for being enough proof against Otago students.

Undie 500

'crowd of about 500 chanting students who threw bottles and rocks at them in Castle St,'
Really? They where all students?
Most of the students I know think the people chanting and throwing bottles are idiots and that the majority of them don't even attend University or Polytech. From what I've gathered the people starting trouble were bogans and people from similar groupings and not 'students'.
But hey let's not report that... Let's hate on the students.
Bad form Otago Daily Times.

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