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Responsible camping on Council’s radar

Extra Council rangers will be out and about over summer in an effort to spread the word about responsible camping in Marlborough.

Earlier this year, the Council received Government funding of $183,610 for additional rangers to manage the high-season period, on top of its current staff of two.

Rangers will visit camp sites and other spots used by campers to ensure things are running smoothly, and educate people about their responsibilities. Rangers will also gather information that can be used as part of a feasibility study ahead of Council’s review of the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2012 next year.

Council’s Reserves and Amenities Manager Jane Tito says there has been a big increase in the number of visitors camping at Marlborough’s responsible camping sites – up from 7,000 in 2016 to 12,000 in 2018.

“On top of the funding for additional rangers, Council was also successful in getting funds of $25,000 from central Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund for a feasibility study on a long-term, sustainable approach to the management of responsible camping sites in Marlborough,” Ms Tito said.

“This study, which is also funded by Council, will help to inform the bylaw review and will consider the trends and challenges associated with managing responsible camping. It will look at how monitoring is carried out and the impact of responsible camping on other providers. As part of this study Council will review our existing campsites to determine whether we have the right number and type, and whether they are in the right locations.

“We will be working closely with neighbouring councils in Nelson and Tasman to ensure we have a robust and planned approach that encompasses the whole of the Top of the South,” Ms Tito said.

The study will also include consultation with iwi, the camping and motorhome associations and other interested groups.

Council’s Freedom Camping Bylaw 2012 was last reviewed in 2016 and the new review is scheduled to commence in July 2020, following the results of the study.

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