Ripples have already begun to spread around Dunedin after a Zone of Peace was declared on Friday. Several centres affiliated with Otago University came together, including the National Centre for Peace and Conflict, the Centre for Sustainability (C-Safe), Te Roopu Maori and the University Childcare Centre (Te Paa). 

The initiative intends to create a more peaceful community in Castle Street, with a goal to improve relationships, create a nonviolent space and make the area more sustainable.

Te Paa, in a speech on Friday, said they hoped the initiative would serve to make a place safer for small kids, where recycling and positive relationships are encouraged.

A student for NCPACS, Griffin Leonard, told the ODT “What we really want is to establish a warm and peaceful environment for working and living”. 

The initiative will be phased out to the student end of the street too, with Selwyn College already interested. And the ODT interviewed several passers-by, who were students, and the majority expressed interest in the proposal.

OUSA President Ruby Sycamore-Smith said: ”Some students already feel homesick and have a sense of uncertainty with the pressures of study.

”To have a calm, peaceful and tranquil place to reflect is a necessity for them,” she said.

The press release on the initiative can be found on Scoop, and an interview on Otago Access Radio with SungYong Lee and Daniel F Benson-Guiu.

by Daniel F Benson-Guiu.