Call for end of toga parade after rampage (+video)

Dunedin retailers are calling for the annual University of Otago toga parade to be cancelled after the city's main street became a disaster zone on Tuesday.

Two thousand first-year students paraded George Street, with bystanders pelting participants with eggs, windows being smashed and rubbish being thrown on to the street.

It was unclear if the bystanders were students.

Retailers said they had to remove egg, blood, vomit and faeces from their shop-fronts yesterday, the Otago Daily Times reported.

City councillor and store owner John Bezett was among retailers planning to send his cleaning bill to the Otago University Students Association - the organisers of the orientation week event.

Mr Bezett said he would advocate for the parade's cancellation if the issue came before the Dunedin City Council.

"The organisers should be ashamed of themselves."

Meridian mall manager Michael Porter said a cleaning company had to be employed "to remove the pungent stench of faecal matter, vomit and urine from outside our doors".

The cost of cleaning and repairing smashed signs would be over $1000, which he wanted to recover from the students' association.

OUSA president Edwin Darlow said the association was reviewing what went wrong.

The review would cover compensation for retailers and crowd control.

It was unknown if the university would take action against students involved in the parade.

Otago University's student code of conduct gives the university the power to expel students or direct them to pay compensation for vandalism and behaviours that result in property damage.

- NZPA

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