Neighbour defends German 'poo trio'

04:55, Mar 19 2014

A neighbour of the red-zoned house soiled by tourists is defending the German trio publicly shamed for the act.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) yesterday released footage captured by staff showing a group found camping in a Crown-owned home in Southshore, with their tent pitched in the lounge and a BBQ set up for cooking beside it. A bedroom had been used as a toilet.

Neighbour Ainsley Quested told The Press the squatting had been ''blown all out of proportion''.

The tourists had been camping on the grass berm across from the Ebbtide St house for a week and only moved indoors one night because of a storm.

''All they wanted to do was get in out of the weather. That's the only time they went in there," he said.

''They didn't make a noise... they were as good as gold. Then the Cera boys came down and put the wind up them.''

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Quested had spoken to the group and said they were ''no problem whatsoever''.

He had even offered his front yard for them to pitch their tent.

Toileting in the bedroom was a ''stupid thing to do'', but Quested questioned whether they were responsible for human waste found in a bedroom.

Their limited English may have resulted in a mistaken confession, he said.

Vandals had been in the property in the past.

The property's former homeowner had not been seen since the February 2011 earthquake, and had possibly relocated to Canada, Quested said.

A Cera spokeswoman said staff were in no doubt the tourists were responsible.

''When the security staffer says on video 'this is fresh', it truly was fresh,'' she said.

''There was no misunderstanding.''

The group had explained itself "very well" and was understanding that toileting on the carpet was "not good''.

''The tourists were happy to rectify their error and cleaned their mess up when asked,'' the spokeswoman said.

The Press