The Otago University Students' Association is eying a potential site in north Dunedin to build a student-focused bar.

The university itself says it would be open to being involved in a new pub as a way of reducing alcohol related harm.

OUSA president Logan Edgar said the organisation was "committed" to building a new bar and hoped to have one opened by early next year, possibly even in time for O-Week.

The organisation already had a site in mind and was looking to build a bar from scratch as opposed to buying an operating bar, Mr Edgar said.


It was too early to say how large the bar would be, how it would be paid for and to reveal the possible site.

"I'm not in a position to say too much at the moment, because of commercial sensitivities."

However, the bar would be "vastly different" from other city bars and would be "the place for students".

More details would likely be known within the next two months.

Apart from providing a service to students, it was hoped a bar would also be profitable for OUSA.

Mr Edgar said the university was keen on the idea.

"We both want to do the same things for students and that's ... to keep their drinking towards this end of town [North Dunedin], because when it gets further in to [the city] ..., that's where all the bashings happen."

When asked about the plans, University of Otago vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said the university was open to being involved in a new pub as a way of reducing alcohol-related harm.

"The university is considering a range of options to stem the tide of dangerous drinking at Otago while, at the same time, maintaining the vibrant student culture that we all cherish," she said.

"Within this framework, there may be merit in the university being involved with a pub on or near campus where we could maximise the chances that students would be drinking in a safe environment close to where they live."

At present the university had no "specific plans", but was reviewing the published literature and experience of other universities who had tried the option.

The university owns Refuel Bar, which is on campus.