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Macandrew Bay Prepares for Freedom Campers

Macandrew Bay Prepares for Freedom Campers

Dunedin (Wednesday, 1 October 2014) – Clearer signs and regular monitoring are two of the positive changes which will greet freedom campers at Macandrew Bay over the summer.

The Macandrew Bay Reserve car park is one of three trial sites for freedom camping and its popularity created some issues and concerns for local residents last summer.

Dunedin City Council Reserves and Recreation Planning Team Leader Richard Saunders says the DCC and the Otago Peninsula Community Board have worked together to try to reduce the problems experienced by residents. Improvements include better signs that more clearly state what and how many vehicles are allowed and regular monitoring of the site by security guards.

Otago Peninsula Community Board Chair Christine Garey says the Board’s immediate concern is the effective management of freedom camping at Macandrew Bay under the current bylaw.

“The DCC made the decision to continue the trial at Macandrew Bay and we are confident DCC staff are now well prepared to manage the site this season.”

Amended signage, taking into account feedback received by the community last season, will be in place very soon. Directions to the nearest camping grounds have been included in the signage for the overflow of non self-contained vehicles visiting the Peninsula. The introduction of a recycling bin opposite the hall and an extra rubbish bin at the park will also be put in place.

“The Board expects reduced numbers of non self-contained vehicles at Macandrew Bay with these new measures and a more positive experience for everyone - residents and visitors.

“The Board has also encouraged continued negotiations with DOC regarding a potential remote DOC campsite as there are in other regions of NZ."

Mr Saunders says as well as the Macandrew Bay Reserve car park, the Ocean View Reserve car park and the Warrington Domain, the DCC is considering Bayfield Park car park as an additional freedom camping location for the 2014/15 summer season. Consultation on this proposed site is underway.

Mr Saunders says the DCC will respond to complaints to ensure the trial sites are being used in the appropriate way. If there are problems with noise or parking, people should call 03

477 4000. Staff may not be able to attend immediately, but complaints and concerns will be followed up.

If there is disorderly or dangerous behaviour, people should ring the Police.

There are plenty of places around Dunedin where freedom campers can stay for the night.

For example, self-contained campervans (compliant with NZS5465:2001) can stay on public land and in DCC car parks for up to two consecutive nights at one site, as long as there are no more than three campervans within a 50m radius and they are legally parked (no parking on grass).

For non self-contained vehicles, up to five vehicles can stay for one overnight stay at the designated areas at Macandrew Bay, Ocean View and Warrington Reserve.

Under the DCC’s Camping Control Bylaw 2013, camping of any sort is prohibited at Taiaroa Head/Pukekura (including Pilots Beach) and in all cemeteries. There are also restricted camping sites at some scenic reserves in the area.

© Scoop Media

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