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Freedom Camping Bylaw not this summer

Media Release

Release date: 3 October 2014

Freedom Camping Bylaw not this summer

The draft Freedom Camping Bylaw will not come into effect until after the end of the summer camping in 2015.

The season that began on Sunday with the start of daylight savings will continue just as it has in previous years.

The Hearings Committee heard submissions on the draft Freedom Camping Bylaw at a meeting on September 10.

A petition from Rere residents and a total of 16 submissions were received, with seven presented verbally to the Committee.

The issues raised in the overall submissions were sites, fees and permits, restrictions, number of nights and permission for use of prohibited sites.

“As a result of submissions, the recommendation was that the Bylaw will not come into effect until after a larger review is completed on how Freedom Camping will be funded.” Says chief executive, Judy Campbell.

Council will begin the review during October to consider whether permits will be user-pays, as they are now, or funded by rates, in time to make a decision by the end of summer camping.

“Freedom camping is a defining feature of our district in summer.” Says community policy and resources manager, Yvette Kinsella.

“The Freedom Camping Act 2011 has shaped a new system to manage freedom camping, and created new challenges for Council in regulating our traditional camping in the district.”

The Bylaw proposes regulations and sites for both Summer Freedom Camping and Overnight Freedom Camping designed to cater for self-contained vehicles, as well as areas where camping is prohibited.

Council will deal with the issue of tarpaulins being used to ‘reserve’ a site, separately. “By definition under the Freedom Camping Act a tarpaulin is not considered a temporary structure, tent, caravan or motorhome.” Says Yvette Kinsella.

Freedom Camping sites and permit information is now available from Customer Services in Fitzherbert St and Te Puia Springs and on our website. www.gdc.govt.nz


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