No glass at keg party

Logan Edgar
Logan Edgar
Glass will be banned from the Hyde St keg party for the first time, in a collaborative effort between the University of Otago, its student association, police and the Dunedin City Council.

More than 7000 students are expected to attend the day-long social event on March 24, which in previous years has been marred by disorder.

The Otago University Students' Association supports a glass ban in North Dunedin as an alternative to a proposed central-city liquor ban extension into the student area.

More than 3000 people have signed OUSA's petition calling for an alternative to the liquor ban extension, which will be put before the council for consideration later this month.

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
OUSA president Logan Edgar said the keg party glass ban would serve to trial the idea of a permanent bottle ban in North Dunedin.

"I can't see students not going for it [the ban]. It will make North Dunedin a better place to live and probably save the DCC millions," he said.

Mr Edgar said the association would encourage students to lodge with the council submissions on the extension before a March 26 deadline.

He said the keg party was not an OUSA event, but the association had teamed with the university, council and police to ensure revellers were safe.

"Last year, the hospital was overrun with party-goers with cut-up feet and we don't want people to have their day ruined by sitting in the emergency room," Mr Edgar said.

First aid, barbecue food and portable toilets will be provided at the keg party.

Cr Lee Vandervis promoted a bottle ban in North Dunedin when he was on the council between 2004 and 2007 and says it is still an excellent idea.

He said any reduction to the amount of broken glass in the city would save Dunedin ratepayers money.

"Ban glass from the Octagon to the [botanic] gardens and massively reduce the cost of having to clean it up, as well as the number of students going to [the emergency department] with cut feet," he said.

Cr Vandervis pledged "every bit of support possible" to the glass ban.

"It's great to see it coming from the OUSA," he said.

Almost every alcoholic beverage was available in aluminium or plastic packaging, which made little or no difference to student consumers even if others preferred drinking from glass vessels, Cr Vandervis said.

He countered arguments about a glass ban being impractical and difficult to enforce, saying it was worthwhile even if one less bottle was thrown at a person.

"You are never going to get rid of all the bottles from North Dunedin, but if you get rid of most then you get rid of most of the cost, most of the cut feet and most of the problem. I'm sure the fire department and police would be happier if there was a lot less airborne glass in Dunedin," he said.



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