Wellington Scoop

Blame the parents?

by Lindsay Shelton
Do you blame the parents for the drunkenness at a ball organised by Wellington College students on Saturday night?

Someone must have given them them the booze, or given them the money to buy it. And if there was “pre-loading” at pre-ball parties in students’ homes, did parents provide alcohol for the student guests, and then turn a blind eye to the consequences?

The DomPost reports that police are investigating the ball after 37 students needed medical attention for alcohol-related conditions.

Do you also blame the 20 security guards, for failing to stop liquor being smuggled in to Shed 6?

There was public scorn about drunkenness at the Sevens last year. Since then, I thought security guards had learnt how to stop people smuggling alcohol into venues that were supposed to be alcohol free. Saturday’s event didn’t have a liquor licence. But the security guards didn’t succeed in enforcing this.

Can you blame Positively Wellington Venues for leasing one of its prized venues to an event being run by school kids? The city council is on the defensive. Spokesperson Richard MacLean says the council will be reviewing its security arrangements. “Police are taking this seriously, and so are we.” But they’re a bit late with their seriousness.

Wellington College principal Roger Moses says there hasn’t been an official Wellington College ball for more than twenty years because they were often ruined by intoxicated people. “At worst they can be a disaster.” But “the school has no control over a private function organised by parents.” He knows who the parents were. But though they paid a bond for their children’s venue, none of them seems to have been at the event.

On the same night there was also drunkenness at a party in Victoria University’s Katharine Jermyn Hall in Boulcott Street. One floor has been damaged and is uninhabitable. One person was arrested. An alcohol ban has been put in place for the rest of the year.

Both incidents are a challenge to Wellington’s strategy of promoting itself as a centre of excellence for education. Will overseas parents want to send their children to a city where student drunkenness gets out of control?


  1. Ellie, 22. October 2015, 13:46

    As I remember, such a long time ago, drunkenness was a normal event in our youth.
    The difference is that we didn’t have access to shorts, mixes, alco pops, even wine was a rare event. Some determinedly managed to get cross eyed on cider though.
    Pre loading is necessary, because drinks are so expensive, if they want to go out and dance. Teens copy.
    Tee total at 18 – 21, can’t remember any.
    The alcohol industry needs regulating and we need to search back into our memory banks.

  2. Henry Filth, 24. October 2015, 13:30

    New Zealand is an alcoholic nation. The country needs to face this, unpalatable though it may be.