'Party' creator says no offence

The creator of a Facebook ''party'' themed on a harassed Dunedin woman says the event is intended to be ''harmless'' fun and he will happily remove it if it is causing distress.

Police have been investigating claims of harassment from a View St resident since she featured on TVNZ's Sunday programme on May 10, in a segment about student behaviour in the city.

A Facebook event named after the woman was posted online and called for people to ''have a frothr, [sic] get f... [sic]'' later this year.

The event's creator, Noah Williams, said the page was not intended to be offensive and was ''entirely a laugh''.

''This is not officially a planned party. I mean, I think a party of sorts will arise from it but it's not planned to be one as such,'' he said on Facebook in response to Otago Daily Times' questions.

Almost 5000 people showed their intent to ''attend'' the event, which Mr Williams said showed it was ''relatively successful''.

''No offence was meant to be caused at all, the theme ... was for laughs in reference to the outbreak on social media, ... it's taking the mickey,'' he said.

He was aware of the Sunday segment and that some form of harassment had followed its airing, he said.

''Students were always going to react from a story like that,'' he said.

''[This party was] intended to be entirely harmless, only for a good laugh, as are so many other parties/events on Facebook. I would be happy to take it down if it's causing any distress.''

The ODT understands several complaints have been made to Facebook about the ''party'', but it remained online last night.

A Dunedin police spokesman said police had been in regular contact with the woman since she was initially harassed following the television segment.

Police were still conducting inquiries and no-one had been warned or charged following the woman's complaint, the spokesman said.

''Police will be monitoring the page and taking any appropriate action as a result of any party which may occur,'' he said.

A false Tinder - a social media application used for dating - profile had been created under the woman's name, and a ''fan page'', which was later removed, was also set up on Facebook.

University of Otago proctor Simon Thompson said the university had not identified anyone involved with the harassment of the woman yet.

''Should any students be identified as part of the police effort ... then the student code of conduct applies,'' he said.

When contacted, the woman said she had been advised not to speak to the media while the police inquiry was ongoing. The Otago Daily Times has withheld the woman's name at her request.

timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

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