New Zealand Toga Party Turns Violent

Mar 28, 2009 | Updated May 25, 2011

Violence erupted after a toga party turned into trouble in New Zealand, reports Sky News. To celebrate the start of the school year at Otago University, students had taken to the streets in togas.

Sky News reports:

Around 2,000 students were marching through the southern city of Dunedin wearing togas to celebrate the start of the university year when trouble erupted.

They were pelted with hundreds of eggs, bottles, rubbish and buckets of vomit and faeces, according to reports.

Car windows were smashed, shop signs torn down and rubbish bins emptied onto the streets, the New Zealand Press Association said.

Fueled by onlookers throwing eggs the students grew violent, reports the New Zealand Herald:

Dunedin City Councillor Dave Cull was at a wine-tasting on the main street, and saw the aftermath.

"Why should we tolerate this here? I don't think there would be anywhere that this would be tolerated."

The parade was organized by Otago University's Student Association, explains Radio New Zealand:

The association organises the annual parade for first-year students, and its president Edwin Darlow says he was dismayed by Tuesday night's events.

Mr Darlow says nobody anticipated that people who were not involved in the event would turn up and disrupt the marchers.

He says association members and volunteers helped contractors clean up the streets overnight.

Retailers in Dunedin are calling for a toga ban after their property was damaged, reports the Otago Daily Times:

"I think this is disgusting. I am holding the Otago University Students Association responsible for this and I will be sending them, not my insurance company, the bill for cleaning up this mess," Bezett Jewellers owner and city councillor John Bezett said following Tuesday's events.

Cr Bezett said the future of the toga parade would undoubtedly come before the Dunedin City Council, and he would advocate for its cancellation.

"The organisers should be ashamed of themselves."