a long-time sponsor of the Otago University Students
Association Orientation Week, will no longer be associated
with the annual event on campus, following a move by the
University of Otago to ban alcohol advertising and
However, Lion Nathan, which makes Speight's, is discussing
with the students association how it could continue its
involvement off campus.
Vice-chancellor Sir David Skegg proposed the on-campus ban
last year as a move against New Zealand's binge-drinking
culture and excessive drinking by some university students.
It was endorsed by the university council in October.
Neither Lion Nathan nor the students association would say
how much the sponsorship deal was worth, but students
association general manager Stephen Alexander said in terms
of cash it was "not a big deal".
Lion Nathan was "one of many" sponsors, although it had a
long history of association with Orientation.
"It is wonderful to have sponsors, but our members are the
most important thing to keep us running."
Overall, money from sponsors was "relatively minor" compared
with student membership fees, he said.
Lion Nathan corporate affairs director Liz Read said the
brewery had agreed with the students association the
sponsorship involvement "could not continue in the way it
had" and was discussing how the relationship could continue
"We are particularly exploring opportunities to collaborate
with them to help improve the student drinking culture at
Otago, which is obviously in all our interests."
When the ban was announced last year, the brewer had
expressed surprise and disappointment the university had not
consulted it first.
Students association president Harriet Geoghegan yesterday
announced the main line-up for Orientation activities which
start on February 21.
The headline band this year is United States-based Health,
described as a "fluid, spiky maelstrom of blood and neon,
mirrorball and icepick", which "mashes together disco and
punk into a noisy, spastic tribal inhalation of sound".
"We can't wait," said Ms Geoghegan.
Other bands playing at Orientation include United Kingdom
drum n' base group Chase and Status, New Zealand band the
Mint Chicks and Australian hip-hop group Killa Queenz.
The full Orientation programme is expected to be announced in
about two weeks.