A Christchurch bar owner has taken aim at quake rebuild workers from south Auckland, who he accuses of getting drunk, committing crimes and threatening locals.
His comments have offended a south Auckland community leader who described the "blind shot" as damaging.
Bush Inn Tavern owner Gary Keast said the troublesome workers and their friends weren't wanted in Christchurch and should "Go back to south Auckland".
It was the first time in 15 years of owning the Riccarton bar he had experienced such problems. The out-of-towners were coming to the area late at night "intoxicated from cheap supermarket booze" and causing trouble.
"I've spoken to most of them. They're basically from south Auckland. Quite a few of them aren't working, they're just down here freeloading and doing burglaries.
"If they're not south Auckland Maoris they're south Auckland Islanders, from whatever island they want to come from. I'm not happy about it," he said.
He had also witnessed them threatening locals and calling them "white trash", he said.
"They're the ones that are being racist. We aren't, they are. Go back, go home. All of them. From wherever they come from."
But Mangere-Otahuhu community board member Walter Togiamua said the comments were offensive, damaging and "blatantly unfair".
"It's unfair of him to make such comments and blanket south Auckland. Has he got his facts right in that they are from south Auckland?
"That's just nitpicking and just putting south Auckland somewhere where we don't belong,' he said.
The comments contributed to negative views about the south Auckland community, many of whom had travelled to Christchurch to help with the rebuild of the city, said Mr Togiamua.
A 10-week police crackdown on alcohol-related crime in Christchurch which began last week resulted in 75 arrests at the weekend.
Christchurch authorities are trying to get on top of drunken disorder in the suburbs with a variety of measures including enforcing liquor bans and focusing on alcohol-related offending.
Senior Sergeant Glenn Nalder said he could not comment on whether there was an issue with drunk out-of-town workers causing problems.
"I don't want to single out any group. But I would like to point out that prior to the earthquakes we had alcohol-related offending in Christchurch and there's no reason to suggest post earthquake that will be any different."
Last weekend's operation was a success, he said.
"People get so drunk that they can't even behave themselves in a public place and tend to do silly things.
"They think they are being clever but they are a danger to themselves and to road users. It's not worth it."
- APNZBy Abby Gillies Email Abby, Samantha McPherson of The Star