Freedom camping fines ‘enough’

Image: I-Site New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand

From Wanaka Sun (page 3)  27 April 2017

As the region and the town continue to grow, irresponsible freedom camping remains high on the local agenda, with Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) reinforcing that its current deterrent of fines is enough.

Last week, the Wanaka Sun reported on irresponsible freedom camping on Department of Conservation land in Makarora as highlighted in a video filmed by Makarora Tourist Centre worker Peter Hartley.

Reports of illegal freedom camping shared on social media often come from across the region including Albert Town, Hawea and Wanaka with residents saying enough is enough.

QLDC’s communications manager Michele Poole said a contractor currently carried out early morning patrols around Wanaka including the main carpark areas around Roy’s Bay.

“They also respond to complaints so if we know there is a problem developing in a particular place, they can put the focus on that area for as long as is needed,” Michele said.

Michele said that in Hawea warranted community volunteers carry out evening patrols, educating people that they find freedom camping illegally and requesting that they move to a designated campground if they are not in full self-contained vehicles.

QLDC web and digital communications advisor Jimmy Sygrove added that freedom campers breaking the rules are issued with a fine and that clamping as a freedom camping enforcement tool in Wanaka and Hawea hasn’t been looked at in detail as fines are seen as an appropriate tool at this stage.

“We are always looking at ways to ensure people follow the rules, particularly when it comes to freedom camping as it is an issue that our communities feel strongly about. As such we would certainly consider using clamping as an enforcement tool in the future, if the need arose,” Jimmy said.

Read the Wanaka Sun Online here


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