Mayor calls for levy on inward flights to NZ to pay for Freedom Camping facilities

20 April 2018

The busy season for freedom camping is ending as autumn settles in but work on how New Plymouth District welcomes freedom campers continues. 

Mayor Neil Holdom attended a Local Government New Zealand symposium on freedom camping this week. He says it was clear from the symposium that there is no silver bullet for solving issues around freedom camping.

“However, NPDC knows that non-self-contained vehicles are going to come so we have to manage the effects in ways that are specific to the issues in each district,” says the Mayor.

“I like the idea of a levy on inward flights to New Zealand to ensure visitors help fund the infrastructure they use. We also need clarification around what self-containment means because putting a bucket in the boot and a sticker on the back window doesn’t cut it.”

Meanwhile, data has been collected on how many freedom campers have been using 13 popular NPDC coastal sites during summer, which is now being analysed alongside other information.

“We’ll be discussing all of this at a workshop at the end of May, as well as reviewing how the Freedom Camping Bylaw operated during its first summer and any fine-tuning that might be required,” says the Mayor.

“If we do amend the bylaw, we’ll go out for public consultation on the changes. Any amended bylaw would be adopted around October this year before the next busy camping season begins.”

Under the Government’s Freedom Camping Act 2011, councils may not prohibit freedom camping in their districts but may have a bylaw that manages it.

As well as Mayor Holdom attending the LGNZ symposium, Deputy Mayor Richard Jordan has attended a national freedom camping forum which discussed how New Zealand can better manage freedom camping.