Campers poo in red zone home
Tourists set up a tent inside an abandoned red zone house and used a bedroom as a toilet, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) says.
And residents of another house planned to burn it down after they had been paid out for it.
The incidents were among a raft of issues keeping Cera staff busy monitoring Christchurch's residential red zone.
Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said today that while the majority of security issues at the more than 3000 Crown-owned properties were "run-of-the-mill," some of the situations staff had encountered "beggars belief".
A group of German tourists were found camping in a Southshore home with their tent pitched in the lounge and a BBQ set up beside it for cooking. A bedroom had been used as a toilet.
Cera staff recorded footage of the indoor camp site and alerted police to the situation.
"It caused a health risk to my staff, but in general is just disgusting behaviour and not something we would want other tourists to think was acceptable anywhere in New Zealand," Sutton said.
As well as the indoor-camping issue, staff discovered a situation where former property owners had been paid out for their property by the Crown, but nearby residents had heard that a large "farewell bonfire" was being planned for the house.
"There are obviously many people living right next door to the red zone areas and they need to feel safe and secure," Sutton said.
"So we do everything we can to reassure them that we are keeping an eye on the properties, and any potential bad behaviour in the general area.
Sutton reiterated that settled properties in the red zone were not abandoned.
"It's not a free-for-all for anyone to use or destroy them, and we need to make sure we work through the insurance issues and EQC issues before properties are demolished or relocated, so that the taxpayer gets the best value out of the money being spent."