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Freedom Camping Bill boosts councils’ toolkit says LGNZ

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Freedom Camping Bill boosts councils’ toolkit says LGNZ

Sunday 15 May 2011

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) welcomes the new Freedom Camping Bill as it gives councils access to a more effective range of tools to tackle the nuisance of freedom campers.

The problems created by freedom camping cause significant issues for many communities and threatens to tarnish New Zealand’s clean green reputation.

“Poor behaviour from some campers is causing unsightly pollution, damaging the environment and undermining our international reputation. This reputation certainly needs protecting in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup.

“Many communities are sick of having to bear the wasteful cost of cleaning up the mess left behind by irresponsible freedom campers,” said LGNZ President Lawrence Yule.

Many councils have or soon will consult with their communities to identify areas where freedom camping should be prohibited. The Bill will enable councils to issue an instant fine of $200 to anyone who chooses to camp in these locations.

“Councils are fully supportive of responsible camping and encourage the tourism and economic benefits that come from it,” said Mr Yule.

LGNZ is a member of the Freedom Camping Forum, which involves stakeholders working together from central government, local government, the rental vehicle industry and tourism operators. LGNZ will continue to work with the Forum to encourage campers to stay in holiday parks or Department of Conservation camping grounds when legal freedom camping options are not available.

For some councils freedom campers are not an issue and they will not require the new enforcement options.

The new Act is expected to be in place before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in September.

Ends.

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