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Consultation Approved For Draft Freedom Camping Bylaw

Council has agreed to consult with the public on the Draft Freedom Camping Bylaw 2020, reviewed to address issues arising from freedom and summer camping in the district.

This follows a decision last month to leave the matter to lie on the table, with councillors seeking more information on the projected economic impacts of the proposed bylaw.

A report to yesterday’s Sustainable Tairāwhiti Committee meeting stated that analysis could not be provided, as the data was not available and the possible impacts of the proposed bylaw on the spending habits of freedom campers could not be predicted.

The committee accepted this and agreed to consult on the draft bylaw early next year.

The draft bylaw adapts Council’s existing summer camping beaches to be designated as restricted “seasonal camping” areas, with no permit fees and full monitoring and compliance of camping conditions.

These seasonal camping areas still allow for multi-week camping in tents or vehicles, but permits and chemical toilets are required.

The draft bylaw establishes seasonal camping from Labour weekend to April 30.

Outside of the seasonal camping areas, the region would be restricted to freedom camping in self-contained vehicles only.

Freedom camping on streets and in car parks in the Gisborne urban area, Wainui, Okitu and Sponge Bay would be prohibited, except for five restricted self-contained vehicle areas at Midway car park (6 max.), Kaiti Beach (8 max.), Bright Street car park (4 max.), the Pines (4 max.) and Makorori (8max.).

The community will be able to provide feedback on the draft bylaw during the consultation period early next year.

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