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Land Information New Zealand tackles camping problems

Land Information New Zealand tackles camping problems

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is improving its facilities at its popular Lake Dunstan recreational areas over the next six months, as well as developing more effective education and monitoring to deal with growing numbers of visitors.

“LINZ supports New Zealanders and overseas visitors using its areas in order to enjoy the natural beauty New Zealand has to offer, but acknowledges that increased visitor numbers have put pressure on the sites and their facilities,” says Jerome Sheppard, Deputy Chief Executive Crown Property at LINZ.

“In some cases, visitor behaviour has negatively affected the experience for the other visitors and has troubled local residents,” said Mr Sheppard.

LINZ staff are working closely with the Central Otago District Council (CODC) to improve public education and trial an upgraded monitoring regime for the LINZ sites around the district.

LINZ is arranging for the installation of additional toilets at the Bendigo and Lowburn sites, as well as for new fencing at the Lowburn and Champagne Gully sites to stop vehicles from parking on the immediate lake front. Vehicle counters will again be installed at sites around the lake to monitor site usage.

“In conjunction with the local council, we are also working to contract a local security firm to trial monitoring visitor numbers, enforcing the site rules and dealing with any anti-social behaviour,” says Mr Sheppard who adds that LINZ and CODC are also working together to better educate campers using the sites through signage and our contractors, as well as key online information platforms for campers like Campermate and GeoZone.

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Over recent years, LINZ have received an increasing number of complaints from local residents and other visitors about inappropriate toileting, rubbish dumping, overwhelmed facilities, and the anti-social behaviour of site users.

“We want to be a good neighbour and land owner and hope our new initiatives will help curb the problems we have seen over recent summers,” says Mr Sheppard.

“We appreciate that these areas are popular, not only for camping, but also for day and recreational use by visitors and the local community, and we want to ensure that the areas are available and safe to be used by everyone.”

Factsheet with additional information on the local sites:
• LINZ is working closely with Central Otago District Council (CODC) as well as Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) around responsible camping in their areas.
• In conjunction with CODC, LINZ is working to recruit a local security firm to monitor visitor numbers and act with respect of potential over-stayers on the Lake Dunstan sites. They may also deal with any anti-social behaviour.
• These LINZ contractors will educate visitors around the maximum nights they are allowed to stay on the different sites and around appropriate behaviour in regards to toilets and rubbish.
• The LINZ contractors will visit every site at least once each day.
• At the Lowburn site, LINZ will arrange for the installation of low fences to stop campers from parking right on the immediate lake front which will maintain access for locals and visitors to the waterfront for recreational purposes. LINZ will also arrange for the installation of vehicle counters, and two additional portaloos for the summer to deal with increased visitor numbers. It is also investigating coin-operated rubbish bins which have proven to be effective at other sites in the South Island, but they will not be in place by this summer. They are being investigated for possible use in the future, if appropriate.
• At Bendigo, LINZ will arrange for the installation of six additional portaloos around the site, which will deal with large visitor numbers.
• LINZ has also arranged for the installation of low fencing and rock placement along the lake front to stop vehicles or caravans parking on the lake front, which was becoming subject to unacceptable degradation.
• At Champagne Gully, LINZ will arrange for the installation of fencing to stop vehicles using the lake front area on the left (after entering the site) and maintaining these spaces as vehicle free areas.
• LINZ is also considering waterfront fencing at Jacksons Inlet but are most likely to be installed next summer.

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