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Call for responsible freedom camping ambassador

10 October 2019

If you enjoy talking with tourists, have afternoons free, and live near one of Whangarei’s ten most popular freedom camping spots, you could become a volunteer responsible freedom camping ambassador.

Whangarei District Council is seeking expressions of interest from community groups or residents wanting to be considered for an ambassador role during the peak 2018/2019 camping season. These ambassadors will form a significant part of a wider programme aimed at promoting responsible camper behaviour, achieving voluntary compliance with our freedom camping rules, and alleviating some of the problems experienced in previous summers.

“The rise in freedom camper numbers has brought increased social and economic benefit to the district, but also pressure on existing infrastructure and growing numbers of complaints from residents,” says Whangarei mayor, Sheryl Mai.

“This is a nation-wide issue, with central government in August providing funding to 28 New Zealand councils, Whangarei included, to upgrade camping site infrastructure and implement a responsible freedom camping education programme.”

This funding will be used to develop and implement Council’s Responsible Freedom Camping Programme at Whangarei’s ten busiest freedom camping sites of Ruakaka Beach Reserve, Wehiwehi Road in Matapouri, Kowharewa Bay, Sandy Bay, Woolleys Bay, Whananaki North, Tamaterau, Parua Bay, Mt Manaia and Ocean Beach.

“Ideally, there will be a few ambassadors at each site to rotate the daily tasks of greeting campers, ensuring they know the rules, recording data and reporting any problems to Council and its enforcement agency, Armourguard,” Mayor Mai says.

“Ambassadors will have no enforcement responsibilities themselves, rather they will educate our visitors in a friendly manner about the standards of behaviour expected of them.”

Successful ambassador applicants will receive full training, ongoing Council support throughout the Programme operating period of 20 December 2018 to 10 February 2019, and a koha for expenses.

“As Council’s eyes, ears and message carriers at these busy sites, ambassadors will be integral to everyone having an enjoyable summer in Whangarei, so we want to assist them as best we can,” Mayor Mai says.

To apply to become an ambassador or learn more about freedom camping in Whangarei, go to Council’s website at www.wdc.govt.nz/ResponsibleFreedomCamping. Responsible Freedom Camping Ambassador application forms are also available from Council’s Customer Service Centre at Forum North in Rust Ave, or by contacting WDC Responsible Freedom Camping Co-ordinator, Sue Halliwell,email Susan.Halliwell@wdc.govt.nz.

Applications close at 4pm on Friday 9 November with successful candidates advised by 4pm on Friday 16 November. Ambassadors must be able to attend one of three Responsible Freedom Camping evening ambassador training sessions on 27, 28 or 29 November at Forum North.


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