Tighter restrictions proposed on freedom camping
Thursday 22 August 2019
Auckland Council’s Governing Body today unanimously supported Mayor Phil Goff’s report on a proposed freedom camping bylaw. The report proposes that council consider clearer prohibitions and restrictions on where freedom camping will be allowed in the Auckland region.
Phil Goff said, “The council has to comply with government legislation passed in 2011 which takes a very permissive approach to freedom camping. However, the Minister has agreed to meet to hear Auckland’s concerns about problems inherent in that legislation.
“With rapid growth in freedom camping and an irresponsible approach by a minority of campers, Aucklanders have expressed concern around the need to exercise control over freedom camping – I share their concern.
“Council and commercial camping grounds are quite cheap to stay at and offer proper facilities, and that’s where we would want most campervans to stay overnight. Communities don’t want public parking areas and reserves to be overwhelmed or damaged by overnight campers.
“The Governing Body has asked council officers to report back on a new set of proposals which has a general rule restricting freedom camping across the city, protects reserves in residential areas, and includes the prohibited and restricted sites agreed by the Hearings Panel.
“By law, these proposals will need to be subject to further consultation. In the meantime, restrictions on camping under legacy bylaws will stay in place.
“Provision will be made in suitable areas for freedom camping, but we want a bylaw which ensures proper protection for residents, communities and the environment,” said Phil Goff.