Dunedin bus hub: A history of violence 

Police patrol through the Bus Hub in Great King St yesterday afternoon. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Police patrol through the Bus Hub in Great King St yesterday afternoon. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old school pupil follows a series of violent incidents at Dunedin’s bus hub. 

Since it was established in 2019, the bus hub has been a magnet for trouble despite its location beside the city’s central police station. 

Local councils have set up security patrols but the violence and intimidation has continued. 

ODT readers have come forward to describe recent incidents which follow a disturbing pattern.

A history of violence

May 23: Woman reports to ODT she witnessed a fight outside the police station two weeks ago. A man punched a young person right in the head around 3pm.

There were many young people sitting/standing outside the police station who also witnessed this incident and members of the public. No one stepped up to help.

She rushed to the police station, and stopped an officer leaving the building and informed him. By then, two security guards were on the scene also.

May 23: A volunteer at Community House (next to bus hub) tells ODT she 'hated walking past the hub around school hours'. 

There were always kids acting up, shouting, swearing, scuffling and carrying on, intimidating other bus users and people walking by. "It's just a hovel for antisocial behaviours and should be shut down."

May 23: ODT reader says they saw fight at 9.20 am (yesterday).  Reader was almost knocked over by two teenage boys fighting outside the countdown entrance at the bus hub.

During their fight the knocked over an elderly man with a walking stick. He was just waiting for bus and was really shocked at the event. He was helped by people who were bystanders, but needed medical attention.

May 13: 15-year-old charged with assault after punching another 15-year-old multiple times in face at bus hub about 2pm on a Monday. Offender tried to run from police. 

Dec 23, 2023: Allegedly drunk man assaults a bus driver at the bus hub about 4.55pm on a Saturday.

A regular commuter who witnessed the incident said it was "all too common in the bus hub". "There’s drug deals, there’s drunks, and people getting assaulted - it’s awful."

Flowers at the scene of the bus hub tragedy this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Flowers at the scene of the bus hub tragedy this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Dec 8, 2023: 54-year-old man loses his top row of teeth and required several plates in his head after what a judge called "vigilante action" by a 41-year-old man at 4pm on a Monday.

The offender pulled over and got out to attack the victim after his son pointed out a man who had allegedly harassed him while the father and son were driving past the bus hub. 

Nov 20, 2023: Man punched and kicked at 8.15pm at bus hub, by an allegedly drunk person in what police called a racially motivated attack.  

Earlier in the day, at 12.45pm, a 14-year-old youth from Gore was arrested at the bus hub for breaching bail conditions, after stealing multiple cars on way to Dunedin.

Nov 13, 2023:  17-year-old allegedly assaults two police officers after trying to urinate on members of the public at 1am on a Sunday, is charged with aggravated assault.

Nov 12, 2023:  47-year-old man punches several times near the hub's public toilets by an unidentified young man at 1.30pm on a Sunday.

Nov 11, 2023: 38-year-old woman follows two men, 65 and 73 years old, from Octagon bar to the bus hub, pushes one of the men into a bus at 9.20pm on Friday.

Sep 10, 2023:  Teenager refuses to pay her fare charged with assault after punching a passenger in the face after they filmed her being asked to get off at 4.20pm on a Saturday. 

June 31, 2023: Police called to fight at bus hub across the road from the Dunedin Central Police Station on a Friday about 3.30pm. Culprit hands over two bags of cannabis to police.

Nov 2022:  52-year-old man struck in the head with skateboard at the bus hub about 10am on a Monday.

Oct 26, 2022: 45-year-old man allegedly pushes 63-year-old man into the street and punches 83-year-old man in the face outside the central Dunedin police station. Charged with injuring with intent to injure and assault. 

Apr 13, 2021:  14-year-old girl gets out of a car at the bus hub in Dunedin’s city centre to assault a 15-year-old girl.