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Learn More About Freedom Camping Changes At Public Webinars

The first in a series of information-sharing webinars outlining improvements to freedom camping is being held this week.

The changes were announced in Queenstown last week by Tourism Minister Stuart Nash, with the new rules designed to better protect the environment, lift the quality of tourism, and reduce the negative impact on communities.

MBIE is hosting the webinars, and will give people the chance to learn more about the freedom camping changes, along with asking any questions they may have. The first webinar is scheduled for this Wednesday at 7pm, while the others will be held 10 December, 5:30pm; 14 December, 5:30pm and 15 December, 7pm.

Karl Woodhead, Acting General Manager, MBIE Tourism says the changes are significant and aimed at improving the sustainability of freedom camping.

“By strengthening the freedom camping system, the Government is ensuring the right vehicles are used in the right places for freedom camping, as well as placing some higher expectations on campers.

“It is important anyone who is interested in freedom camping is up to date with what the changes mean for them,” Mr Woodhead says.

There will be a two year phase-in period giving vehicle owners time to get their vehicles upgraded if required. The new regulations will require anyone wanting to freedom camp on local or regional council land to be in a certified self-contained vehicle, which means these vehicles must have a fixed toilet. Councils may opt to designate some areas as being suitable for non-certified vehicles.

“There is a lot of interest in these changes with MBIE receiving more than 5,000 submissions during the consultation period earlier this year.

“MBIE has organised a series of webinars to help people understand what the changes could mean for them. This will be a great opportunity to learn more and how they might impact those interested in freedom camping,” says Mr Woodhead.

More information, including how to register for a webinar, is on the MBIE website.

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