QLDC Welcomes New Legislation On Freedom Camping

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021 06:08 PM
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has welcomed today’s Government announcement on new measures to ensure freedom camping takes place in a way that respects the environment and local communities.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash made the announcement this morning at QLDC’s newly redeveloped Frankton Campground on the shores of Lake Whakatipu.
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult, who also attended the announcement, said responsible campers have always been welcome in the district but acknowledged that changes to legislation were necessary to prevent ongoing abuse by a minority.
“Our main concerns related primarily to the use of vehicles without fixed toilet facilities. To make matters worse, they had such a low value that they were often dumped in our district at the end of their owners’ journey. Disposing of these vehicles created extra work and a major cost for local ratepayers,” he said.
“I’m very pleased Minister Nash has addressed this by confirming that only vehicles with on-board facilities can be certified for overnight camping outside specific areas that will include campgrounds and campsites. Not only will this ensure that freedom camping takes place in vehicles that are fit for purpose, these vehicles are likely to have significantly more resale value so they won’t be dumped in our backyard.”
“Our district has a wide offering of quality commercial holiday parks as well as council- and DOC-owned campgrounds which will cater for those without certified vehicles or who choose to take advantage of their extra facilities. And I’m pleased to see that the ability for Kiwis to camp in tents and enjoy the same outdoor experience that I grew up with has been protected,” said Mayor Boult.
QLDC has been part of the national Responsible Camping Working Group that has been providing feedback to the Government to help shape the new legislation.
“There has been a productive dialogue between all parties to get to this point. This is sensible policy and the minister should be congratulated. If I have one further wish, it would be for Central Government to continue funding for camping ambassadors which have proved very beneficial in educating campers so many problems of the past were minimised,” said Mayor Boult.

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