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Have Your Say on Freedom Camping, Camping Standards Bylaws

Have Your Say on Freedom Camping Bylaw amendments and proposed Camping Standards Bylaw

Summer's around the corner and to get ready we're proposing to make a few changes to seven freedom camping sites and to create the rules about camping on private property.

Freedom Camping Bylaw amendments

This week Council voted to seek community feedback on proposed amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw and to make a Standards of Camping Bylaw. Both documents will be available for consultation from today until 4:00pm on Monday 19 October.

Amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw are very limited; just seven sites across the District: in Hikutaia, Thames, Te Puru, Port Charles, Matarangi, Opito Bay and Pauanui - and how they are classified in the bylaw.

Council is proposing to remove one site from the bylaw, introduce one site into the bylaw, change the classification on four of the sites and proposing to leave one classification the same. We are now seeking public feedback on each of these.

In the nine months our Freedom Camping Bylaw has been operational, we've had positive feedback from campers, ratepayers and our staff about how freedom camping now works in the Coromandel.

The focus on these seven sites reflects feedback from staff and the public about freedom camping specifically in those areas and how we may improve this in time for the summer.

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Our Freedom Camping Bylaw sets out our rules for freedom camping on Council land in the district. As a general rule, the Freedom Camping Act allows for freedom camping on local authority land. However, we have a number of high profile areas which are prohibited for freedom camping under the Act, and others which are restricted to a designated freedom camping area.

The other key rule we have is that all vehicles for freedom camping must be certified self-contained. This certification comes from the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association and more information on what this includes and how to get certified can be found on their website - www.nzmca.org.nz/self-containment

To view close-up maps of each site, read more on the proposed amendments and tell us what you think of them, go to our consultation portal

Standards of Camping Bylaw

There are already rules and standards for commercial campgrounds in the District, through government regulations and our own District Plan. However, over our busy summer period, there is an influx of campers on private property in our communities which can be a source of nuisance to neighbours and residents and also a risk to public health.

The proposed Standards of Camping Bylaw sets outs rules on how close camping on private property can be to the road or neighbouring properties, and sets minimum standards of sanitation for campers; for example, around how many toilets are required per person on a property. For more detail please see the statement of proposal on our consultation portal and tell us what you think.

To submit on both:

• You can submit online through the consultation portal or,

• email your submission to customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz,

• post to Thames-Coromandel District Council, Private Bag, Thames,

• fax to (07) 868 0234,

• drop off your submission at one of the Council offices in Thames, Coromandel, Whitianga or Whangamata.

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