Thursday, May 30, 2024

Auckland Council pitches freedom camping education funding

Auckland Council says it will be better equipped to educate the public on rules around freedom camping this summer, thanks to a $256,000 funding boost secured through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) $10 million Freedom Camping Transition Fund. 

Compliance Manager for Auckland Council, Adrian Wilson said the funding would assist the compliance unit with ensuring Aucklanders and visitors to the region are aware of the rules around freedom camping, and complying with them. 

“Callouts related to nuisance caused by freedom campers place high pressure on the team over the summer period, and with drier weather predicted this year we are gearing up for another busy season,” said Mr Wilson.

“This funding will allow us to increase the number of staff carrying out proactive monitoring and patrols at prohibited and restricted sites, as well as hot spot areas for anti-social behaviour.”  

From early December until late February, a team of Council ambassadors and compliance officers will visit the region’s popular summer spots to educate visitors on the rules around freedom camping and camping in vehicles.  

They will also carry out evening patrols of areas identified in previous years as being hotspots for anti-social behaviour, providing public reassurance and education for rule-breakers.

Council says the ambassadors will be supported by a team of security officers and NZ Police where necessary.  

“Our approach will be to provide education first, which could mean reminding campers of the rules around waste-disposal, ensuring people aren’t staying more than the maximum two nights in the same area, or reminding people of the many other campsites and holiday parks where they can legally stay,” said Mr Wilson.  

“We do have the option to issue trespass notices and infringement fines if required, however we hope people will be compliant with the rules once made aware of them. We want people to be able to enjoy holidaying in our beautiful region, but to do so in a way that doesn’t impact negatively on others or the environment.” 

MBIE Tourism Investment and Performance Manager, David Talbot said the cost to resolve freedom camper issues has historically fallen on taxpayers and local ratepayers.

The funding has been provided to help educate travellers and support councils to transition to the new Freedom Camping rules, which aim to better manage freedom camping in local communities.

“Freedom camping is important to Aotearoa New Zealand, to our people and our international visitors. This funding is to support councils to transition to the new freedom camping rules and better manage freedom camping in their area,” said Mr Talbot.

To freedom camp in Auckland, you must:

  • use a certified self-contained vehicle;
  • stay a maximum of two nights in the same road or off-road parking area;
  • vacate your parking space by 9am on the day you leave;
  • not return to stay in the same road or off-road parking area within a two-week period, which starts from 9am on the day of departure;
  • comply with special rules for freedom camping on Waiheke Island;
  • not stay in any area where freedom camping is prohibited ;
  • comply with any special rules for freedom camping in restricted areas;
  • comply with other rules about disposal of waste and responsible freedom camping. 

Latest Articles