Promoting responsible camping in the Waikato District
Thursday 19 December, 2019
Waikato District Council has extra staff to help manage freedom camping over the summer months, thanks to funding from the government.
“The Waikato district is a great place to visit and we know it attracts a large number of freedom campers, particularly over the summer months,” says Funding and Partnership Manager Nick Johnston.
“We want visitors to come to our towns because it’s good for local businesses, but we’re also aware of the negative impact it can have on our environment and residents. We want campers to enjoy their stay and discover the wonderful things that make Waikato great, but they also need to be respectful.”
“Over the summer period our responsible camping ambassadors will be out and about providing information to campers about the rules in our district. They will help direct campers to where they can camp and where the facilities are, as well as provide advice about things to see and do. They will also be collecting data and monitoring areas, and they will have the ability to take enforcement action if necessary.”
We hope that by being proactive we will reduce the negative impacts, says Mr Johnston.
The funding has also been used for extra signage and material to promote responsible camping.
“Over the years we’ve had issues with litter, toileting and noise. We’ve listened to feedback from our residents about the issues they have experienced. The material we have created will make it clear where people can – and can’t – camp and what is expected of them while they are guests in our towns.”
“We’ve also listened to campers who said they couldn’t find the information they needed and that we didn’t have sufficient signage. So we’ve updated the information on our website and created some easy-to-read maps. We have put more signs around our district to let people know where they can’t camp and we’ve also added reflective signage to some of our hot-spot areas so that it will be seen by people arriving at night.”
In the meantime, if you have any suggestions about how to improve the camping experience or if you need to report an issue, please contact us on 0800 492 452.
“We’re in this together so we want to work with our communities and campers to improve the camping experience in our district for everyone.”