Auckland Council develop new law for freedom campers

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NZN

The number of freedom camping spots around Auckland is growing, and Auckland Council is trying to stay on top of it by developing a new bylaw.

Freedom camping doesn't simply mean sleeping in your car, it’s not illegal, although it’s restricted.

Source: Seven Sharp

Overcrowded camp sites and illegal camping in public areas are a problem across the region, and Auckland Councillor Linda Cooper says more effective rules are needed to address growing community concerns about the demands put on public places.

Council's Regulatory Committee said on Thursday that a new bylaw will be developed under the Freedom Camping Act 2011.

At the moment, freedom camping is permitted everywhere in a local authority area unless it is prohibited for a reason, such as protecting a certain area or access to it carries health and safety concerns.

A number of bylaws inherited from Auckland's former councils already heavily restrict where freedom campers can stay, but these rules are inconsistent across the region and do not address all issues.

"This is causing a rise in complaints about how popular locations are being used, including access issues, blocked views, noises and odours from cooking and generators and the demands on facilities like public toilets," Cr Cooper said.

"There are other issues about rubbish, litter or waste which are caused by freedom campers, day visitors and locals alike, which will continue to be managed through Auckland unitary plan rules and other bylaws."

It is expected to take 18 months to develop the new bylaw, which will include further public consultation, but until then the existing legacy council bylaws will remain in force.

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