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Dunedin's reputation has taken another battering after images of smashed glass in a trashed Hyde St made national headlines as the city prepares to host its first Cricket World Cup match today.
The negative publicity left Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull upset at the ''unacceptable'' behaviour of a minority of students tarnishing the city's image.
While most students behaved ''pretty well'', the damage was being done by ''a minority in one street which apparently thinks it has a right to behave in ways that are unacceptable anywhere else'', he said.
''It's not a good look, and it's not a good advertisement.''
The scenes, emerging just as the city welcomed international cricket teams, fans and media, could also prompt some parents to question whether the city was the right place to send their children for a university education.
''We've always been known as a social campus, but if I were a parent in other parts of the country, I would be weighing up that kind of irresponsible mob behaviour and trashing, against what I thought were the advantages of sending someone here.''
It also left Mr Cull questioning whether the council might have to revisit the idea of a permanent liquor ban in North Dunedin.
The idea had been considered and ruled out in the past and a temporary liquor ban was in place instead, covering the streets around Forsyth Barr Stadium and the University Oval, during the Cricket World Cup and O Week.
Mr Cull said he did not generally favour the idea of a comprehensive liquor ban covering North Dunedin, ''but certainly if this sort of thing persisted, you would have to reconsider''.
''If you had a liquor ban it wouldn't be acceptable to drink in the street and, presumably, the mess would be a lot less.''
Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie agreed the negative publicity ''definitely'' hurt the city's brand, but insisted the images were misleading when the city was ''absolutely humming''.
''The city's just full of visitors, and full of students, most [of who are] being really well behaved.
''Anything that portrays itself in the media that way gets people thinking that's what the whole of the city is about, and it's not.''