Alleged firearm incident prompts review

Police outside the Dunedin School of Art. Photo: George Block
Police outside the Dunedin School of Art last month. Photo: George Block
Otago Polytechnic has confirmed it is reviewing its safety and security procedures, after a man allegedly pulled out a firearm at the Dunedin School of Art last month.

The building was evacuated and there was a heavy police presence at the school after the man pointed what appeared to be a gun at a wall.

Otago Polytechnic Students' Association president Nathan Laurie told polytechnic councillors at a meeting last week students were worried about their safety after the incident.

Polytechnic director of people and culture Laura Warren said on Wednesday the polytechnic had always been committed to the safety of its students and staff, and was reviewing its critical incident policy and response, as well as other related aspects of safety and security, including working with police.

The polytechnic's current critical incident and emergency management plan includes procedures for three levels of emergency, depending on the nature of the incident and how many people were affected: where individuals were affected, where more than one person was affected, and where a death was involved or multiple people were injured.

"It is the responsibility of staff and learners to be thoroughly conversant with evacuation arrangements concerning buildings and areas in which they work."

A police spokeswoman said inquiries into the incident were ongoing, and no-one had been arrested.

Police were working with the polytechnic to assess and improve the safety measures it had in place, to ensure it was well-equipped to deal with incidents of a similar


So no proof that a firearm was involved as yet.

If this continues to be the case, it would be interesting to know how this incident gets reported in the statistics for the police call out.

Perhaps something the ODT could follow up on??