The absentee owner of a Fernhill house where a huge party was shut down by police at the weekend has condemned the partygoers’ behaviour as “disgusting”.
Nick Reekie says he’s “embarrassed and concerned” the party and its aftermath had affected nearby families, and angry bottles were thrown at police.
“It’s unacceptable and offensive.”
About 350 people attended the party in Lordens Place on Saturday night after it was advertised on social media.
It was shut down at 1 o’clock the next morning after multiple noise complaints.
Reekie, a former Queenstown resident who lives in Darfield, Canterbury, says he relied on the management company looking after the property, Queenstown Accommodation Centre (QAC), to find good tenants, and had asked for an explanation.
“It seems there’s been a bit of a slip-up in the vetting.”
But QAC managing director Allan Baillie defends its tenant selection process, saying it used online tenant check agency Tenancy Information NZ to carry out in-depth vetting that included rental and credit histories.
It also obtained references and called previous landlords.
The property was inspected on Sunday and yesterday and its six tenants issued with breach notices for damage and misuse of the property.
The company had to follow a legal process and could not evict tenants on the spot, Baillie says.
“If they rectify those breaches according to tenancy law, then there’s very little we can do about evicting them.”
But the lease would not be renewed, and the two men with their names on the agreement would face lasting consequences.
“They will find it relatively difficult to secure a tenancy pretty much anywhere by the time we’re done with them.”
It was the worst incident of its type he’s seen in his eight years with the company.
“I would imagine those guys won’t be throwing another party by the time things are completed.”
Senior sergeant Paula Enoka, of Queenstown, says police were called from Wanaka, Alexandra and Cromwell to help local staff shut down the party after multiple noise complaints.
Bottles were thrown at officers, but no-one was injured.
Police finally seized the sound equipment and closed down the party about 1am.
The property was packed with 300-350 people – including some on the roof – with “everyone moderately to highly intoxicated”.
Such parties have the potential to quickly get out of control, she says.
“If you are wanting to have a legitimate party … social media is not the best way to advertise.”
Queenstown council spin doctor Michele Poole says the party generated five noise complaints.
A Queenstown man arrested at Saturday night’s party received a pre-charge warning.
Enoka told media yesterday morning the man, 23, was due to appear in the Queenstown District Court charged with disorderly behaviour likely to incite violence.
But a Wellington-based police media adviser checked with the arresting officer and said there had been a mix up due to a provisional date written on the arrest form.
The man was actually given a pre-charge warning and released on Sunday morning.
Otago Daily Times