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Wheels In Motion For Freedom Camping Review

The wheels are in motion for a review of Marlborough District Council’s Freedom Camping Bylaw, set to get underway soon.

Councillors were provided with an update on the review process at today’s Assets and Services Committee meeting.

Council’s Parks and Open Spaces Manager, Jane Tito, says freedom camping has been a challenging issue in Marlborough for some time now.

“Following last year’s Annual Plan process, and in consideration of the submissions and presentations received from the community, Council agreed that a review of the Council’s Freedom Camping Control Bylaw 2012 would take place from mid-2020.”

“Now the time has come when Councillors can consider all of the issues and listen to feedback, to draft a bylaw that suits the needs of the Marlborough community,” Ms Tito said.

Part of the review process will see the formation of a panel, made up of Councillors, who will be tasked with considering a report into freedom camping in Marlborough.

The report, which was co-funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and prepared by an independent consultant, was commissioned to support the bylaw review and outlines the impacts and issues freedom camping has on the community.

“Right from the outset, Council identified the need for a more strategic and long-term sustainable approach to the management of freedom camping in Marlborough and also the neighbouring regions of Nelson, Tasman and Kaikōura,” Ms Tito said.

“The report covers the experience of the freedom camping community in our region and identifies specific information including camper profiles and their respective movements around the region. The report also provides information regarding the contribution freedom campers make to the local economy.”

“Interviews with iwi, residents, stakeholders and other affected parties also feature as part of the report.”

Marlborough District Council’s Freedom Camping Control Bylaw 2012 was developed to provide a more regional approach and guidance to the Freedom Camping Act 2011, which sets out direction on how to manage freedom camping in New Zealand.

The Assets and Services Committee will be presented with a paper at their next meeting in July, to approve the formation of a panel to hear submissions from the community on the review.

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