18 May 2020

Dunedin police shut down multiple student parties at weekend

12:32 pm on 18 May 2020

Dunedin police broke up several parties in the city's student quarter which were flouting level 2 rules on Saturday night.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

At about 8.40pm officers were called to a party on Leith Street in North Dunedin with reports of 15 to 20 people present.

The party was disbursed and the details of those present were taken down, Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said.

Only 20 minutes later officers were called to another party in nearby Cumberland St with 30 people present.

That party got the same treatment, Dinnissen said.

An hour later a larger gathering was reported in London St.

Officers found 40 to 50 people there.

Again no arrests were made and the details of those present were noted.

On the same night, two men were seen by Campus Watch security staff lighting a couch on fire in the middle of Leith St.

They ran from the scene but were tracked by officers and found hiding under flax buses on the bank of the Water of Leith.

Both were arrested, Dinnissen said.

The incidents came a day after the University of Otago praised students for their behaviour during the lockdown.

Vice chancellor professor Harlene Hayne urged students to stick to the rules around gatherings of 10 or fewer.

"We are grateful that this is even permissible and students can get together. We completely understand your excitement, but we ask you to be smart, and also think about the greater good," she said.

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