Thursday, July 7, 2022

Auckland’s new rules for freedom campers

Auckland Council’s Governing Body has adopted a bylaw to protect council-controlled areas from the impacts of freedom campers.

The decision follows Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Te Ture ā-Rohe Noho Puni Wātea ā-Waka 2022 / Auckland Council Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw Panel recommendations on public feedback received during consultation in October and November last year.

Chair of the Freedom Camping Bylaw Panel, Councillor Linda Cooper says the new Bylaw will protect sensitive areas, public health and safety and access to council-controlled areas, from the impacts of freedom camping in vehicles.

“During our consultation, we received feedback from 1,572 people, 46 organisations and 21 local boards,” she said.

“Today we recommended to the Governing Body that it adopt the proposal, with some key changes that we made as a result of the feedback we received.

“These changes will enable responsible freedom camping to occur in suitable areas, while prohibiting or restricting camping in areas that need it the most.

“Auckland is a popular destination for freedom camping, so it’s important that we get the rules right.

“We believe that the new Bylaw does that, so we’re really pleased with the Governing Body’s decision today,” says Councillor Cooper.

Key changes to the proposal released for public consultation in 2021 include:

  • prohibiting freedom camping from 13 additional sites suggested through public feedback because evidence provided in feedback and 2018 site assessments justify their protection. These sites are:
o   Glenesk Road (eastern end), Pihao   Piha Wetlands and adjacent part of Seaview Road, Piha
o   Karekare Road Carpark, Karekareo   French Bay Carpark, French Bay
o   North Piha Strand / Marine Parade North, Pihao   South Piha Strand / Marine Parade South, Piha
o   Little Huia, Huia Roado   Vellenoweth Green, St Heliers
o   Colonial Road, Birkenheado   Opou Road end, Titirangi
o   Milford Reserve, Milfordo   Te Henga Park, Bethells Beach
o   roadside parking adjacent to St Heliers Bay reserve on Tamaki Drive
  • amending restrictions at Hingaia Reserve to reduce the number of vehicles allowed from eight to five, to better protect public access,
  • reclassifying two restricted areas as prohibited areas to better protect public access to these areas (Anderson’s Beach Reserve, Glendowie and Trusts Arena, Henderson),
  • and clarifying provisions relating to the definition of ‘certified self-contained vehicle’, no return period, maximum stay on Waiheke Island, and temporary rule changes.

The new Bylaw will come into effect from 1 September 2022. The existing Bylaw will apply throughout Auckland until then and can be viewed here.

Read the full summary of the Freedom Camping Bylaw Panel recommendations here.

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