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Westland proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw

Successful hearing for the proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw

Westland District Council held the hearing of submissions for the proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw on Thursday evening, 29 November 2018. The Bylaw was adopted by Council with amendments made based on the verbal and written submissions received.

There was strong community interest in the proposed bylaw and Council received 64 submissions in writing, with seven of the submitters available to speak to their submission. Council resolved to adopt the Bylaw. The Schedule of locations is a live document that can be subject to change. Due to public interest in the issue, Council also resolved to assess the effect of the bylaw after the end of daylight savings in 2019 and potentially reassess the prohibited areas listed in Schedule 1. This means that communities will continue to have a say in how the Bylaw is working in their community.

Amendments to Schedule 1, based on submissions are:
• Docherty Creek at Franz Josef is included in the prohibited area. The community has agreed to work with Westland District Council to find an area for freedom campers within the otherwise prohibited area of Franz Josef.
• All road Reserve between Kaniere Forks (intersection of Lake Kaniere Road and Kaniere Road) through to Geologists Creek, including Hans Bay and Sunny Bight Beach will be included in the prohibited areas.

With the funding that Council has received from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund to build public toilets there are more areas that are available as park over areas for people who do not have self-contained vehicles. Council agreed to trial the Recreation Reserve in Ross as park over site until daylight savings.

Fiona Scadden, Planning Manager and Acting Regulatory Services Manager, says, “To be able to meet the legislation we have to have areas that people can freedom camp, which enables us to then enforce the areas that people are prohibited from freedom camping.”

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