26 August 2018
To camp or not to camp? Make sure you have your say
Just where freedom campers can park-up and for how long is the question NPDC is asking the public, as consultation begins on its draft Freedom Camping Bylaw.
Monitoring at 13 coastal sites in our district for the last four summers shows a steady increase in the number of freedom campers: 297 in 2015, 490 in 2016, 850 in 2017 and 1,656 in 2018. About 70 per cent of the freedom campers in 2018 were in non-self-contained vehicles.
“Managing Freedom Camping is one of the District’s and our country’s biggest challenges,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. “Our draft bylaw aims to strike a balance between welcoming freedom campers and protecting our most beautiful places. It’s important locals can continue to enjoy these pristine spots, free from physical and visual pollution. We’ve got an open mind and want to have a public conversation around what the possible solutions might be. So we’re urging everyone to have their say during the public consultation period.”
The proposal includes:
• To allow non-self-contained (NSC) campers access to only selected car parks near 23 public toilets.
• To ban tents and other temporary structures.
• To have NSC campers restricted to no more than two nights in any one place in a 30-day period.
• To toughen up the camping rules at Waiwhakaiho, East End and Kawaroa by restricting freedom campers to selected car parks.
• To change the summer rules at Fitzroy and Oakura beaches to a year-round ban, although with the possibility of selected car parks for freedom camping from 1 May to 31 October.
Last summer NPDC installed extra portable toilets, rubbish collection and security to help alleviate the impact. It is also working with a popular freedom camping app to provide regular updates.
Fill out our survey form at: newplymouthnz.com/HaveYourSay or drop into one of our customer centres.
Public feedback closes on 26 September.