Man attacked by St Patrick's revellers

A Dunedin man says he had his shirt ripped, glasses pulled off his face and his car's wing mirror yanked off after he confronted drunken St Patrick's Day revellers who were urinating on his property.

Walking from work to his Malvern St home, Chris Gable encountered a large crowd of green-clad revellers in the area of the former Woodhaugh Hotel, about 5pm on Monday.

The group had been drinking in the Woodhaugh area for most of the day, with police arriving several times following concerned calls from residents.

Mr Gable said he confronted one partygoer who climbed over his fence to bounce on his trampoline.

''I told him 'you have five seconds to get off my property, otherwise I will call the police'.''

Minutes after that person left, he found a man urinating on his car and another man urinating on the side of his house.

''I am quite angry at this time.''

He ended up tackling to the ground the man who had urinated against his house, ''whereupon I am surrounded by eight guys and get my shirt ripped and my glasses knocked off''.

''It was pretty ugly there for a few minutes.''

Mr Gable stressed not all the partygoers exhibited bad behaviour, with others trying to calm the more aggressive young men. Afterwards, he heard a loud bang and found a wing mirror had been knocked off his car.

He later had to leave the property, and while he was away, his neighbour, Jeff Dickie found an estimated 40 people on Mr Gable's section, including some bouncing on his trampoline and others urinating on his property.

''They were all drunk. I wasn't. I was very, very angry so I didn't feel at all intimidated,'' he said.

Mr Gable said he planned to send the bill for the damage to his car to the University of Otago, and like Mr Dickie had had enough of ''boorish behaviour ingrained in the life of many North Dunedin residents''.

''There is a duty to be a good neighbour to the rest of North Dunedin and they are simply not. On a weekly basis, we have to endure the sights of bins tipped over at the weekend, or tiptoe around vomit as you walk to work.''

A university spokesman said staff were unavailable to answer questions from the Otago Daily Times, including about a claim bottles were thrown at Campus Watch staff.

Police made two arrests in connection with the Woodhaugh party.


No leg pulling.

Absolutely not. Speeding tickets and parking fines are issued to the owner of a vehicle, not the driver. Issues with safety of a residence or building are issued to the ratepayer or owner, not the tenants. I see the RTA 1986 has been amended, but I'm certian there was a clause about the landlord shall not be permitted to allow their tenants to disrupt the quiet enjoment of other tenants and neigbours.

In any case, landlords need to be held to account and if necessary forced to take an ethical stance regarding the people they permit to occupy their premises: especially party flats and the like. They're certainly profiting from the notoriety of such places, but the cost is being born by the local community. Now you explain to me what is right about ordinary folk suffering this, so someone can make a buck. 

You can't have it both ways - either to deal hard to the issue of the behaviour of students in the North End, or you deal to the parties who have a vested interest in the presence of students. Either way, us  locals have had enough.



Non student hooliganism to stand up to

Racial abuse, CBD violent night assault, prowlers, road rage, offroad rammers, seal cullers...

Consolidated approach

Well said Craypot: "The University has ultimate responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of all its students". 

You know it's time we all stood up to hooliganism. Other students must be intimidated by it as much as locals visitors and tourists. It's not just students either. Its' those renters of all persuasions who don''t give a damn about our city. The problem is that the investor/landlords don't suffer as they don't usually live close by.

Time for a consolidated approach. The ODT, Police, DCC, individuals, university, polytech, parents, landlords. Why should the locals be terrorised and pay for the damage?   

Police should have been called

Craypot is wrong, Friday is right - the police should have been called, which is where the complainant went wrong here. After the police get them is when the uni can deal with them. Mr Gable should have photographed the guy, not tackled him.


Sorry Friday, you are so wrong. The University has ultimate responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of all its students. So, when some of them rampage do they, by their actions  not put other students at risk? Yes, they do. The University has very flexible eyes, but that does not excuse overall responsibility for the aforementioned .. The Uni will be at the bottom of the choice options if they continue with this cherry picking of rules to suit themselves. It's a long way to go to Dunedin, and costly. Maybe its only going to appeal to "problem " children in the future. Wrong choice of Administrators .. replace them ... now .  

You're pulling our leg

You're taking the mickey arn't you. Landlords responsible for tenants' behaviour. So what next someone comes to town and stays in a hotel or motel goes downtown and creates havoc so you're going to prosecute the hotelier or motel owner. I'll bet Stevesone will be all for that. What about one of your friends comes to town and heaven forbid does something illegal while staying at your house are we prosecuting you.

responsibility in their own hands

The University, while not responsible for individual student's actions, have the power of expulsion and they use it. It was this power that they used to extricate over $6000 out of otherwise unco-operative tenants of a flat where the party got out of hand (150+pax) for damage. So, thank you to the Proctors office and also Campus Watch, who do a fantastic job.

The residential tenancies act is feeble, has NO power and favours the tenants. A slap on the back of the hand at best.

The increase of out-of-town property investors and the rise of the 'property managers' are all contributing to the squalor.

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the individual, not the Uni/landlords or their parents. Most students abide by the rules and don't get out of control and for the ones that do...treat them as everyone else in Dunedin is treated...arrest and charge them.


Meepo: Good idea. I think it's time to act. I met someone today who lives further up the Woodhaugh area and has no problem with drunks etc. She says 'it's the rentals' near the university.
Well, who is responsible? I think it's the property owners, the investors. They must shoulder the reponsiblity and - sort out their tenants or get fined. 

Dealing with this

I wonder if this was centered on a particular flat in the vicinity? It might be possible to launch a prosecution against the landlord as their tenants were clearly breaching the residential tenancies act. I have no idea if such prosecutions are successful, but surely there would be some advice. It might be that the neighbors have a whiparound to support this.

I am dissapointed that the police did nothing to head this off while it was small and managable. I'd be absolutely horrified to be in the same position as Mr Gable. 

Personally I think the North Dunedin Liquor Ban should be back on the table - there is still clearly an issue with students. As many other people have stated, it's time for permanent residents to start making a loud stand on this issue.

Answer to 'chose escalation'

Ok, your ideas on life? In any bad situation, just ''Run For It!" Nice, good luck bro . . . not me though. Crims win in your world?

Chose escalation

He "ended up" tackling the guy to the ground instead of calling the police like he initially said he would do (and should have done). Therefore he became part of his own problem by initiating violence, thus escalating the vandalism problem. One man taking on a group of drunks is not smart on any level. 

Not just Otago

It's not just Otago Uni. Let's not pretend we're unique with the behaviour of our students.  I read on Stuff just a couple of weeks ago about students setting fire to couches in Orientation Week, and it was Massey University. 

St Patrick's day was chaos, but it was also quite fun in many areas.  I walked through Leith St and Castle St and was greeted by green partygoers and later drove through with my young daughter so she could see the crazy dress-ups. 

It's unfortunate Mr Gable had a different experience of St Patricks day.

Hard call to be fair

It's really, really rather hard to call for the police when you are on the ground being beaten up by our young and brightest thugs. Don't ever, ever be an apologist for crime .. sort out these people from your community by getting rid of the ones who accept this behaviour from obtaining positions of trust.

Dunedin's reputation

We had American friends here on 17th. They said "Let's not go to the city centre for a meal" They anticipated antisocial behaviour there, so did we. 

Central Dunedin has this repututation. Parents think twice about sending their children to University here and locals about socialising or even living there.  It's time for change.


No, let's be really fair Mr Gable has his home, his property and his person abused.


Campus Watch

It's interesting to note that Campus Watch is acting in areas well outside the University campus boundaries.  And that the Proctor is taking direct action against students - I heard one case recently where a female student was given the option of a $150 fine or 15 hours community service.  Handled internally, no NZ Police involvement.  So much for "zero tolerance, no diversion offered" line from NZ Police.

Otago Uni

Fact is the University is really up there in  the "Bad Behaviour and loser student  " stakes. Other Institutions in NZ have put a line in the sand to student damage and behavior. The University is not what it once was , they appear to encourage drinking and vandalism. It's this gutless and cowardly approach by these administrators that have allowed Otago as a place NOT to send your kids .. And for the supporters, it doesn't happen everywhere  else, only nowadays in Dunedin. It's free for all, no or ineffective rules, all fun covered over by the Uni ,, but parents don't expect your kids to come back undamaged.

Poorly handled

To be fair, Mr Gable escalated the problem rather than calling the police. Also, the University can't be blamed or charged for an individual adult's behaviour.

Good luck

I wish Chris good luck with his endeavour in sending the bill to the University of Otago for payment.  I have also had to do this in recent times and the response from the University in living up to obligations resulting from the problems it causes, was somewhat disappointing.

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Goodwood Kennels and CatteryPalmerstonAnimal Care
North Otago Driving SchoolOamaruDriver Training & Instructors
Oakley Gray Architects LtdDunedinArchitects & Architectural Designers Design & Development