Boozing pupils 'desecrate' holiday retreat

Eleven pupils from Wakatipu High School were captured on security video drinking, smashing bottles and urinating in the yard of a Crown Range property, Queenstown police say.

The house itself was not entered, but police say members of the group could face charges of being unlawfully on property, which carry penalties of up to three months' imprisonment or a $2000 fine.

Police are investigating the gathering of youths at the property on November 22 when the owner was overseas.

The caretaker of the address found broken beer bottles lying around the yard and there was gravel and dirt in the spa pool. Security cameras which cover the property were reviewed.

Sergeant Steve Watt, of Queenstown, said yesterday 11 youths from Queenstown's sole secondary school had been identified from the video footage and social media where one of the alleged offenders posted photographs of their activities at the property.

''The group can be seen in the footage gallivanting in the spa and surrounding garden area and drinking [a] copious amount of alcohol, smashing bottles and urinating through the yard and potted plants,'' Sgt Watt said.

Police believe the party was held to celebrate the end-of-year exams, although the investigation is in its early stages.

''The owner is devastated that his holiday retreat has been desecrated in such a way by this group and cannot understand the clearly arrogant and senseless nature of the offenders' actions whilst unlawfully at his address,'' Sgt Watt said.

Wakatipu High School board of trustees chairman Alistair Nicholson and principal Steve Hall told the Otago Daily Times in a joint statement yesterday: ''We are very concerned to hear of this incident which does appear to involve senior Wakatipu High School students who had finished school for the year.

''As the matter is under investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment at this time. However, we support the investigation and will assist if we are able.''


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