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Proposal to develop revised Freedom Camping Bylaw

11 Jun 2020

Proposal to develop revised Freedom Camping Bylaw

Council is developing a proposal to deregister summer camping areas and include them within a revised Freedom Camping Bylaw, in a move to address summer camping and compliance issues.

The Sustainable Tairāwhiti Committee today approved the proposal development, intended to also address concerns around coastal erosion and cultural sensitivity.

Council currently allows for both summer camping and freedom camping in designated areas throughout the region. While there is some crossover in the resources and facilities used, summer and freedom camping are regulated under different legal frameworks, each presenting different issues for Council.

Camping Ground Regulations 1985 allows Council to charge for camping permits but provides no means to enforce permits, or issue infringements for issues such as building semi-permanent structures, damage to dunes, or not complying with permit conditions.

Under the proposal, Council will be able to enforce conditions and issue infringements to help mitigate environmental impacts and improve infrastructure and public access.

Campers wishing to stay longer than three nights during daylight saving can apply for a 28-day renewable permit. Council will continue to sell rubbish bags, and collect rubbish as in previous years.

The revised bylaw may include additional controls around self-containment and time restrictions.

Staff are working to have the draft proposal complete to workshop with Council by the end of July.