A new report about the collapse of a balcony at a student concert in Dunedin has revealed a number of failings, including organisers' lack of communication with authorities.
Several students from the University of Otago were injured last year when a balcony collapsed during a Six60 concert held at a group of flats in Castle St.
The report outlined a number of failures that involved insufficient warning to university staff, security and police; and a lack of preparedness of the flat property manager who, alongside the band, organised the free gig.
"There was no face-to-face communication or meeting between the [Six60] band members and the property manager of the flats who organised the party and authorities such as police and the university campus' watch team in the days leading up to the event, to appraise safety and security for the event,'' the report said.
"Instead, authorities arrived at the event initially unaware of the risks the balconies represented.''
The report said most of the residents living at the flats knew about the eight-person limit on the balconies and organisers failed to make sure there was clear signage indicating this.
There was also only one security member working at the event when the collapse occurred.
"The large numbers that turned up to the gig - and in one case, up to 50 extra people who entered one flat - could not have expected to have been aware of the danger of overcrowding the balconies,'' the report reads.
"The large crowd that would be drawn to the [Six60] gig could have been reasonably anticipated in advance and also the fact that people would try and get on roofs and balconies.''
Released today, the report was commissioned by the university's vice-chancellor and student president. It was conducted by Emeritus Professor Bob Knight.
Vice-chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne acknowledged that lessons had been learned in the incident.
"An important lesson from this event is that no matter who organises the parties, we need to always encourage party organisers to involve the Proctor and Campus Watch and utilise their experience.
"This unfortunate accident and the subsequent injuries to our students is not something we want to see repeated - ever,'' she said.
"We are doing everything in our power to join with [Otago University Students' Association], the police...to ensure that within the limitations of private property and freedom to congregate, any future events are both safe and fun for our student community.''