Staying safe

We know that living in a new place can feel a little daunting. We've got lots of measures in place to keep you as safe as possible. You also need to play your part in this and not take any unnecessary risks. 

Campus Watch (Dunedin)

The Campus Watch team is a group of staff employed to watch out for you. 

Five teams work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You'll recognise them by their distinctive uniforms of blue and gold, with fluro vests/jackets, walking around campus and North Dunedin. 

They do have a University of Otago emblem on their uniform but they are 100% there for Otago Polytechnic students too!

Their role is essentially pastoral - acting as "walking info booths" on a range of issues.

Their duties include manning the Safety Patrol, providing "walks home" and ensuring student behaviour is kept to a reasonable level. 

Campus Cop (Dunedin)

As well as our Campus Watch crew, you might also see our Campus Cop, John Woodhouse, out and about. 

You can touch base with John by emailing or calling 021 190 5950.  

Emergency Services 

If you feel unsafe at any stage, it is always ok to call the Emergency Services for help. 

  • Call 111 for urgent emergency situations (Police)
  • Call *555 for non-urgent situations (Police)

Security (Dunedin)

There are CCTV cameras onsite around campus and swipe access to a lot of our buildings after-hours. 

It's a good idea to keep your valuables with you or OPSA can look after your items during office hours if needs be. 

In an emergency

In an emergency, you may receive a text alert from 4177. It's a good idea to save the 4177 number in your phone under the name 'Polytech emergency'. You can also use the number to report an emergency to the polytechnic. 

Evacuation procedure 

On the continuous sounding of the alarm:

  • All occupants must evacuate the building in an orderly manner via the stairwell or nearest designated exit. The lift must not be used. 
  • All doors should be closed when the area is clear. 
  • Occupants should assemble in a designated assembly point clear of the building. 

Refer to evacuation plans displayed in hallways and classrooms for assembly points. 

Occupants must not return to the building until an all clear is given. The all clear is usually given by intermittent short bursts of the fire alarm sounder, or as instructed by the Building Warden or the Fire Service.

Earthquake evacuation procedure 

  • Stay where you are.
  • Move no more than a few steps to a safe place, then drop, cover and hold on.
  • If inside, get under a heavy piece of furniture or a doorway, or stay low alongside an inside wall. Keep away from windows.
  • If in a lift, stop at the nearest floor and get out.
  • If outside, stay outside and keep clear of buildings and power lines.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

There are 6 AED located on and around campus:

  • A Block – Adjacent to Room A120a
  • H Block – Lift Lobby
  • L Block – Main Reception Area
  • Z Block – Sargood Centre – Tapuae (Gymnasium)       
  • M Block – Manaaki – Student Health – Treatment Room 
  • Roberston Library - Lending Area, Bottom of main stairwell (not owned by Otago Polytechnic)

A defib is also available at Central campus

For a map of AED locations in the greater student area please check out AED Locations

Tips for staying safe 

We want you to have an awesome experience while studying with us so here's a few tips for keeping yourself safe during Orientation and throughout your studies: 

  • Fully charge your phone before you head out.
  • Make a plan to eat something before you start drinking.
  • Lock your flat. Talk to your flatmates about locking up, taking your key with you.
  • Plan how you're getting home at the end of your night.
  • Save some cash or money on your card just in case you need to pay for transport home.
  • Stick together. It’s easy to lose people in clubs so always let your friends know where you're going.
  • Have a place to meet up with your friends if you get separated.
  • Pace yourself, have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
  • Be aware of the risk of drink spiking - don’t leave your drink unattended or accept any drinks that you haven't personally seen poured, especially from strangers.
  • Look after your friends, are you going home with the same number of people you headed out with?
  • Keep to main streets and well-lit areas. 
  • Save a taxi number into your phone.
  • Save Campus Watch contact to your phone: 0800 479 500
  • Think about some things you could say if you’re feeling uncomfortable with a situation e.g.:
    • I’m here with someone 
    • Hang on I just have to text my friend 
    • I have to go help my friend
    • I have to leave now, might see you later

Here's some more info from the NZ Police to make sure you have a good night out: 

Need to talk? 

If you've had a negative experience and would like to talk to someone, please reach out to our Student Support team. We have trained counsellors, student advisors, and chaplains so you can choose the best service to suit you.