Cohesive national response to freedom camping is needed now
A cohesive national response to freedom camping is needed now
Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne has welcomed the Prime Minister’s offer of Government assistance to council’s to deal with the issues of freedom camping.
“Recognition at a central government level is the first step towards the development of a national solution.
“The issues are not limited to the hotspots in Queenstown or the West Coast with the same issues being significant for Tasman as well. Most, if not all, councils have had to deal with the increasing compliance demands of what seems to be a growing trend in travel choice.
“Money is not the only answer - a change in the current legislation enabling the ability to regulate locally through an appropriate legislative framework would provide a cohesive national response.
“In the current climate fed by the worst stories, including the use of inappropriate and offensive slogans on camper vans, we must be careful not to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’. We must, however, have a fairer locally-applicable response to what is becoming a worrying situation for councils.
“As an important economic sector tourism relies on the country’s natural beauty. To maintain this attraction there is an obligation on all parties to treat the environment with care and travel in a way that ensures the reason they have come here stays the way it is.
“As New Zealanders we must have the ability to protect and maintain our environment whilst being the hospitable hosts we have a reputation for. With growing visitor numbers the sooner we have a clear legislative lead to make the appropriate regulations the better.”