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National promises 25 new DoC campgrounds

National promises 25 new DoC campgrounds

National Party Leader Don Brash today announced that the next National Government will establish 25 new camping grounds on Department of Conservation land “to ensure future generations of New Zealanders continue to enjoy the classic Kiwi camping holiday”.

Dr Brash made the announcement at Tropicana campground at Whangarei Heads with National’s Outdoor Recreation spokesman, Nick Smith. Tropicana is to close on 15 April after 33 years. It is one of 20 campgrounds to shut its doors in the past three years as coastal and scenic properties are developed into apartment accommodation and holiday homes.

Ngunguru campground, which is 20 kilometres north of Tropicana, is due to close on 18 May after 40 years in operation.

Dr Brash says such closures are inevitable as private property owners cash-in on soaring property prices.

“We have no issue with campground owners legitimately exercising their property rights to sell or change the use of their land. But National is determined to protect this iconic part of Kiwi culture and lifestyle by ensuring the provision of camping grounds that will not be sold.”

DoC controls more than 8 million hectares of land - 300,000 of which has been obtained since Labour came into office - and 6,000 kilometres of coast but Labour has closed four DoC campgrounds and established none.

“National will require DoC to identify 25 sites for viable new campgrounds which can be opened in the next three years.

“It is not necessary for these campgrounds to be managed by DoC – which has enough on its plate. Our intention is to lease the sites to private operators, as currently occurs with 13 DoC campgrounds.

“We will also be reviewing the regulatory requirements on privately owned campgrounds. We do not want camping regulated out of existence, as has occurred with the Kiwi bach or crib.

“New Zealand has magnificent rivers, lakes, foreshore and scenery. National will ensure all New Zealanders continue to have free and easy access to it all,” says Dr Brash.


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