Campervan hirers are to be told it is not acceptable to camp anywhere but designated camping areas, the New Zealand Freedom Camping Forum has agreed, PR.co.nz online press release service for New Zealand reports.
People hiring non-self-contained vehicles will be instructed not to freedom camp. They will be directed to designated camping areas, like Holiday Parks, Department of Conservation (DOC) camp sites and other designated camping spaces.
The Forum which includes representatives from rental vehicle operators, local government, tourism organisations and central government met in Auckland on April 24 to discuss growing concerns about the impacts of freedom camping in several parts of New Zealand.
This original motorhome comes with a resident cat above the dashboard
Tourism Industry Association Advocacy Manager Geoff Ensor, who chaired the meeting, says all parties recognised the increasing public antagonism to freedom camping and were committed to taking action.
The right to freedom camp is a New Zealand birthright and we dont want to see it banned, but we must take action to protect our environment and our international reputation as a friendly, welcoming destination, Mr Ensor says.
The Forum agreed on a set of more than 30 actions that will be undertaken by rental vehicle operators, local government and tourism organisations to improve the behaviour of campers.
These included a commitment from the rental vehicle operators at the meeting to inform clients from the time they book vehicles that it is not acceptable to camp outside designated camping areas.
This is a huge step forward. Operators representing about 80 per cent of the rental vehicle fleet and the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, which represents 80 per cent of private motor home owners, were at the Forum and agreed to these actions. They will also talk to others in the industry to ensure this happens across the board, Mr Ensor said.
Local government representatives will advocate for legislation establishing a national instant fine system that councils will be able to use to better enforce freedom camping rules in their areas.
GoSee Having fun Queenstown to TeAnau
They will also work to better inform people about where they are allowed to camp in each region. Efforts will also be targeted at people buying private vehicles to use while camping around New Zealand.
At present, each council has different rules about freedom camping. Local government has agreed to develop a model bylaw and share best-practice freedom camping management models from around the country.
We will also be making more effort to ensure travellers are aware of the rules as they move about the country, through the i-SITE information network, DOC visitor centres, holiday parks, tourism operators, websites and social media, Mr Ensor says.
The Forum is confident that the actions it will undertake over the next few months will make significant improvements to the management of freedom camping, Mr Ensor says.
The industry and local government recognise that the time has come for decisive action. We will continue to work closely together to ensure we are doing all we can, particularly in the run-up to Rugby World Cup 2011, Mr Ensor says.
GoSee near Port Waikato
Kinzett Terrace Closed to Freedom Campers
(PR.co.nz) The Maitai Clubs Kinzett Terrace carpark has been closed to freedom campers after the Club decided to withdraw its consent following escalating misuse with overstayers, rubbish, toilet and water problems.
Paul McArthur, Manager Parks and Facilities, says, Freedom campers are an ongoing issue for Councils and landowners up and down the country. We trialled the Kinzett Terrace carpark as a solution for a year, and while it seemed to work alright in the beginning, these ongoing issues created problems for the club.
Signs have been erected to notify campers in the carpark and the portable toilet has been removed. Kinzett Terrace was the only location within Nelson City Council boundaries where freedom camping was allowed, after the closure of the Trafalgar Centre carpark in 2009.
A review of other potential solutions and alternate freedom camping locations will be made for Council to consider before the busy summer camping season.
Editor's Note: GoSeeNewZealand.co.nz and GoSeeAustralia.com.au does not necessarily agree with the views expressed in these stories. GoSee draws readers' attention to the Public Relations source from which this information comes.
Visit the Tourism Industry Association Freedom Camping Forum websitewww.camping.org.nz
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