Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


What is a Responsible Freedom Camper?

As we again head on into summer and the popular season for Freedom Camping, many are asking just what is a responsible freedom camper?

Certainly not a lot has changed since last year. We have the usual NIMBY’s complaining about freedom camping, that’s the activity not necessarily the actual camper, while a small minority do have real confirmed complaints about the people camping. These are a minority but get given much air time by media.

While some long established organizations are happy to stay with what they claim is time proven solutions, others organizations have popped up to prove that these so called time proven solutions are not solutions at all, and in some cases are actually part of the ongoing problems.

Take for example the 2017 amendments to the NZ Standard for self containment of Motor Caravans and Caravans, which requires that a toilet is usable within a camper-van even with the bed made up. On the surface this sounds like a good move, after all you hardly want someone sitting on their camp toilet in full public view. But when investigated, we discover that once the ability to use the toilet within the Camper-van is met that a Toilet tent may be used outside the camper-van, once camping. The NZ Standard making that requirement is only applicable once camping, so just what has that amendment achieved? All that is achieved is more campers throwing the toilet out and driving Freedom camping even futher underground.

Other organizations have surveyed Councils and other stakeholders, to investigate what works for them and what doesn’t while also talking to freedom Campers to discover the same issues. Much has been said about non-copy write blue stickers which pop up on the rear of some campers being printed by individuals to suggest they are certified as self contained when they aren’t. Even the genuine sticker’s have a life span of many many years with some over 10 years old still looking new. They don’t change in appearance and last well beyond the 4 years of the self containment certification.

So does this self containment certification actually make campers responsible?
In short no it doesn’t. It provides no education - not even on how to empty the mandatory waste tank or toilet, never mind anything about the expectations or responsibilities of the Freedom Camper.

What was discovered by surveying Councils and other stakeholders was that an education program was definitely needed. For some reason prior to early 2018 education appears to have been an unknown in Freedom Camping. Their was a number of largely Government websites but these contained information that was inaccurate and misleading. In early 2018 a report was released which highlighted the need for education.
It was suggested at this time that along side education Councils would require some sort of evidence that Campers were responsible particularly if the self Containment Standard was to be removed as an restriction. Some were aware at this time that the self containment standard was not compliant with Bill of Rights and therefore had not implemented it into their bylaws.
Responsible Campers Association Incorporated, alongside other stakeholders, then developed the Responsible Campers Accreditation program which educates and quiz’s campers in the expectations and responsibilities of being a responsible freedom Camper. On successful completion of the quiz an Accredited Camper card can then be issued.

It has to be proven that the only true responsible campers in New Zealand are holders of this Accreditation card, if only because they have been educated and proven that they understand that education. Several hundred persons now hold Accreditation while other organizations continue to push programs that have been around over 25 years and are yet to produce the desired result.

Tasman District Council recently said “The Responsible Campers Association Incorporated has been created to develop, promote and support a Responsible Campers Accreditation Program which provides education and competency cards to campers who can successfully answer questions on responsible camping.
This self-containment accreditation system focuses on the education and competency of the camper, rather than a standard that applies to facilities on a vehicle”

While Department of Conservation said “can clearly see the amount of effect and research that has gone into producing the website and the level of detail is impressive”.

This sort of education program and accreditation is the only way to go forward successfully. Freedom Camping is a right and any restrictions on that right have to meet the requirements of Bill of Rights which such programs can do. Only by implementing programs placing the onus on the campers will we go anywhere towards keeping everyone happy.

Thanking you
Responsible Campers Association Incorporated.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa

Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>


Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


PM: Labour Will Extend Loan Scheme 'lifeline' For Small Business

Labour has announced its plans to extend the Small Business Loan Cashflow Scheme and spend $162 million on a waterway clean-up package. More>>


RNZ: Details Of Active Covid-19 Cases Leaked In Privacy Breach

The State Services Commission has been called in to make sure a 'thorough investigation' is held. More>>


Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels