Once she got over her disbelieving eyes, one Christchurch resident approached the female tourist who was washing her smalls in a public water fountain.
"I told her, 'We don't like this, this is disgusting, kids drink out of this, including mine. Can you please go and do it in the changing rooms? This is a drinking fountain,' but she just shrugged it off..."
Therein lies the rub in the trade-off New Zealanders have had to endure after throwing our public spaces open to anyone who could afford a budget plane ticket and the bond on a rental van.
Appalled New Zealanders who have been crying foul at the misbehaviour of so-called "freedom campers" have, it seems, been heard at last. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash says he will ban the hire vans without inbuilt ablution facilities.
"Gone are the days, as far as I'm concerned, where you hire a cheap van that is not self-contained," Nash said.
Nash said too often ratepayers and taxpayers had picked up the bill for the impact of tourism on infrastructure and the environment.
The declaration will be music to the ears of disheartened heartlanders, aghast at environmental abuse by foreign - and domestic - wayfarers.
The issue has been left for local councils to grapple with for too long. The outcome is an inevitable inconsistent jamboree of varying and, at times, variant rules over the New Zealand countryside. One coastal carpark could be okay with overnight vehicles while a very similar facility over yonder hill is verboten.
The Government has taken a hands-off approach to freedom campers for years, perhaps aware that the number of such camping experiences was growing strongly and these visitors spent about $530 million a year, pre-Covid.
However, Nash will be well aware their daily spending is half that of average visitors. Given a choice, we might be better off luring the latter.
The NZ Herald has previously called for our tourism to be aimed at a more discerning traveller - more likely to appreciate the unique assets we offer.
This week, Nash agreed, stating the current Covid closures were a chance to regroup on tourism.
"What we're looking at is a unique opportunity for a re-set.
"We haven't got tourists here at the moment, so we have an opportunity to redefine our global value proposition and market to those who add significant value to our country.
While we're having the conversation, we'd also suggest a national policy so campers and locals alike know exactly what the rules are - and what the ramifications are for stepping outside those rules.
As we said, in January last year: "Cracking down on unruly elements; weighting taxpayer support to quality tourism rather than budget endeavours; and promoting ourselves as the best of the best can only lead to better experiences for our tourists.
"And surely, for ourselves."