Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw
The Freedom Camping Act
When the Freedom Camping Act 2011 was introduced, it changed the rules around Freedom Camping in New Zealand. The Act allows freedom camping to occur in public places (permissive) and gives local authorities (Council’s) the power to restrict or prohibit freedom camping in particular areas (after meeting specific criteria) by developing bylaws.
The Current Situation in South Taranaki
Since the introduction of the Freedom Camping Act in 2011, freedom camping is allowed at all public sites throughout South Taranaki, as there is no Bylaw to prohibit or restrict where people can or cannot freedom camp. Some issues have arisen regarding the polluting of the environment at particular beach areas by non-self-contained freedom campers (with no toilet facilities on board), and the parking of camping vehicles which limit the flow of traffic at particular popular places in urban areas. Requests have been made to the Council to provide a position on freedom camping within the South Taranaki District.
The Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw
The proposed Bylaw aims to:
Allow certified self-contained freedom campers to be able to freedom camp throughout the district, with the exception of prohibited areas, which have been assessed as being a significant site (see summary on pages 2 and 3);
Designate particular sites for non-self-contained freedom campers or tenting, which is within 100 metres of a serviceable public toilet;
Provide some common sense conditions around the use of public sites for freedom camping;
Provide the Council with the power to issue infringements for breaches of the Bylaw; and
Provide information on dump stations and holiday parks throughout the District.