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Dunedin students will be welcomed back to the city with a liquor ban that the University of Otago hopes becomes a permanent feature of Orientation Week.
Dunedin City Council liquor licensing co-ordinator Kevin Mechen said the council had adopted a temporary alcohol restriction for the "three big nights of Orientation'' at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The restriction would be in place between 6pm and 1am, on Wednesday, February 24, and Friday, February 26.
The restricted area was bound by Albany St, Riego St, Harbour Tce and Dundas St, Butts Rd, Union St, State Highway 88 and Anzac Ave back to Albany St.
The restriction would stop "pre-loading'' by patrons on the way to the stadium.
"If you have people drinking right up to the stadium gate, they may be presenting as OK but when you take on alcohol it may be 20 to 30 minutes before the alcohol takes effect.''
The restriction would help security guards make a more informed decision when patrons entered the stadium, he said.
A temporary restriction was put in place last year because the Cricket World Cup, a Super 15 Rugby game and Orientation Week 2015 were held in North Dunedin.
Last year, there were no alcohol-related harm problems in the restricted area, he said.
In a letter to the council, Inspector Kelvin Lloyd, of Dunedin, said the number of charges resulting from arrests over the Orientation Week period had steadily declined, from a high of 114 in 2011 to 37 last year.
An OUSA spokesman said if the restriction was effective, OUSA would consider requesting a similar restriction in the future.
It had received no complaints about the restriction from students.
University vice-chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said she supported the restrictions.
"Placing a few restrictions on where they can drink during O-Week helps students learn that not all social activity requires alcohol. I would also be very happy to support these alcohol restrictions as a permanent feature of the Orientation calendar at the stadium.''
Orientation Week events at Forsyth Barr Stadium with alcohol restrictions
February 24: Toga Party: Open to students only; about 3000 expected.
February 25: Concert featuring Jhene Aiko, G-Eazy, David Dallas, DJ Sir-Vere. Open to public; about 4500 expected.
February 26: Concert featuring Shapeshifter, Sunshine Sound System, Arma Del Amor. Open to public; about 4500 expected.