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May 14, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Party Rights Under Pressure

Te Puni fights to remain drunk after 10pm

Te Puni Village residents have made it clear that it will take more than a recent directive from management to kill their buzz.

Residents at the student accommodation complex were advised by email last month that management had decided to enforce quiet hours from 10pm throughout the week, effective immediately. This change modified the rules set out in the 2012 Te Puni Village Resident Handbook, which set a later time of 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Once quiet hours start, no noise must be heard from residents’ rooms or common areas, effectively forcing students to either leave the Village if they wish to continue partying, or go to bed. Residential Assistants (RAs) employed by the Village are required to monitor residents’ noise levels and behaviour during quiet hours.

Students spoken to by Salient said they had been told that the changes were made in response to two major concerns, relating to noise complaints from residential neighbours of the Village, and the health and safety of RAs who had to work much later hours on the weekend.

Resident Andrew Burns said that, while many residents recognised the importance of these issues, the changes had not been received positively.

“Whilst the majority of residents understand the reasons for the change, very few are happy about it and, in fact, many are angry. Residents are particularly disappointed by the distinct lack of due progress and consultation on the issue.”

Residents were not consulted at all, nor forewarned that the consideration of such changes was taking place.

This lack of consultation is of particular concern to VUWSA, who were approached by residents unhappy about the sudden change.

“Te Puni Village is their home and they pay for it. There is no question that they deserve a say in the way their community operates,” explained VUWSA Executive member Reed Fleming.

VUWSA held a consultation for residents last Friday, which was open to both those in support and opposition of the developments. There were 80 guests listed as attending on the event Facebook page when Salient went to print.

“We want to talk to students so we can then feedback to Village management and negotiate on their behalf. We want to help students get a better deal,” said Fleming, prior to the meeting.

Salient approached Village Manager Liz Iversen for comment, but had not heard from her by the time the magazine went to print.

Burns said that in addition to frustration at a lack of consultation, the changes were already having negative effects on the livers and social lives of residents.

“Since the change, some students have been drinking more, faster, in an attempt to get ‘drunk enough.’

“Many students would argue that this is “too early” to head to town and that they miss out on the Capital’s busy nightlife.”

Salient will cover any developments in this saga in coming weeks.

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