Urban Angel's Natalie Garner (22), of Dunedin, Bridgman and
Deans manager Jenni Gillions and staff from Andrea Biani
clean their shop-fronts. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Angry George St retailers, who spent hours removing egg,
blood, vomit and faeces from shop-fronts yesterday, are calling
for the annual student toga parade in Dunedin to be cancelled
and for the students association to pick up the cleaning bill.
City and university leaders have also condemned those
responsible for the disorder.
"I think this is disgusting. I am holding the Otago
University Students Association responsible for this and I
will be sending them, not my insurance company, the bill for
cleaning up this mess," Bezett Jewellers owner and city
councillor John Bezett said following Tuesday's events.
Cr Bezett said the future of the toga parade would
undoubtedly come before the Dunedin City Council, and he
would advocate for its cancellation.
"The organisers should be ashamed of themselves."
His sentiments were endorsed by other retailers, many of whom
had to close their doors for several hours while staff
scrubbed the remains of the parade mayhem from windows,
entrances and the footpath.
With staff spending two hours cleaning eggs, blood, vomit,
faeces and paint from outside Quest, manager Beau Jeffries
said the shop would support moves to cancel the parade.
"This was just out of control. I don't understand how they
can get permission to do this."
Meridian mall manager Michael Porter said the mall had to
employ a professional cleaning company "to remove the pungent
stench of faecal matter, vomit and urine from outside our
The cleaning bill and repairs to smashed signs would amount
to more than $1000 and the mall would be writing a letter to
OUSA to recover costs, he said.
The Otago University Students Association, organiser of the
Orientation event, was reviewing what went wrong, president
Edwin Darlow said.
Tuesday's parade of 2000 first-year students resulted in
bystanders pelting participants with eggs, windows being
smashed and rubbish being thrown on to the street.
"It was not an ideal event," he said. "We don't condone this
sort of behaviour."
Mr Darlow said it was too early to talk about cancelling the
event, but the OUSA had begun a review to ascertain what went
Issues such as compensation for retailers would be discussed
as part of the review, as would the number of volunteers
involved in crowd control, he said.
Parade participants spoken to by the Otago Daily Times blamed
much of the disorder on bystanders and said they "were simply
victims of the violence".
It was unclear if the bystanders involved were students, Mr
Following the incident, students who were caught misbehaving
would be dealt with by the proctor, and the OUSA would
continue to work with police to "resolve any issues".