Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Landlord's P lab shock


The man responsible for a P-lab explosion in Mount Maunganui this week always seemed like a good tenant, according to his landlord.

The owner of the house, who did not want to be named, told the Bay of Plenty Times she was shocked to learn Tuesday's methamphetamine lab explosion was at her Oceanbeach Rd rental property.

The 80-year-old's sons now manage the property on her behalf.

"I had a funny feeling when it happened so I thought, 'Heavens. I hope it's not my place'."

"It's funny that I had that funny feeling about it. I was nearly going to get in the car and go and have a look and I thought, 'oh don't be silly, it's a long road'."

The tenant had lived at the house for two or three years and had never caused a problem, she said.

"This chap that was there, he was a bit of an odd fellow, but he was very clean and tidy and neat," she said. "I thought he seemed all right. I had very little to do with him.

"We never had any trouble no need to be concerned about it. When [the tenants] are settled in and they are dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts there is no need to go over and hound them all the time."

The woman said she regularly drove by to deliver the water bill, but never noticed anything suspicious.

Despite the initial shock and the realisation she would be facing a hefty repair and clean-up bill, she was upbeat about the situation.

"I never thought it would happen to me," she said. "Everybody has to have their turn and I guess it's mine.

"These P labs seem to be set up anywhere at anytime."

Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair said Tauranga police and the specialist P-lab team finished their forensic examinations of the property yesterday.

A large number of items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were found at the house along with an indoor cannabis growing operation including 40 to 50 plants at various stages of maturity.

He confirmed neighbours' reports that the men at the house tried to hide equipment after the explosion.

"We have found some equipment and chemicals from the lab outside the property so it appears that someone has been trying to dispose of the evidence," Mr Wright-St Clair said.

Police had not yet been able to talk to the injured man and no arrests had been made, he said.

The 57-year-old man was taken to Tauranga Hospital with burns to 30 per cent of his body. He remains in a critical condition in intensive care.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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