A French tourist who admitted damaging a sign on the West Coast and stealing a sleeping bag has paid nearly $4000 in reparation so he can have his passport back.
Police said Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre pulled one road sign out of the ground and threw it into the nearby Punakaiki River and threw large rocks at another.
Earlier today, Rault-Verpre had told the Christchurch District Court he disputed the amount of damage he had done to the sign.
But in a late reappearance in front of Judge Brian Callaghan this afternoon, the 27-year-old dropped his opposition and opted to pay nearly $4000 in reparation costs.
The case was moved from the West Coast to Christchurch, due to what his lawyer described as the hostile reception he had received on the coast.
Rault-Verpre also admitted stealing a $1000 sleeping bag from a Kathmandu store in Auckland earlier this month.