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Campervan ban not the answer to attracting 'high-value' visitors - Tasman mayor

Tasman mayor Tim King says it's a "tricky balance" to both encourage high-value visitors to spend money travelling the country, but not limit others from holidaying.

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Tim King says it's a "tricky balance" to both focus on high value tourism but not limit others from enjoying New Zealand. Source: Breakfast

His comments come after Tourism Minister Stuart Nash earlier this week says he wants to ban campervans without toilets.

On Wednesday Mr Nash said he will ban hiring vans that are not self-contained to tourists, instead wanting to focus on attracting high-spending visitors to Aotearoa.

"We get all these vans driving round at the moment that are not self-contained, so the driver or the passenger wants to go to the toilet - we all know examples of this - they pull over to the side of the road and they shit in our waterways," he told RNZ.

But this morning, King said he wasn't sure banning the vans was the best solution.

"I think freedom camping is a challenge, it has been, and it's an area where it's really tricky to balance the rights of New Zealanders who want to travel around and enjoy our country in that way and the impacts of a whole lot of people coming from overseas," he said.

"I do think we need to focus on high-value tourism, but I don't think we should forget about the balance of people. We expect to be able to travel overseas and enjoy other people's countries regardless of our social status so I think getting the balance is important."

He said the Nelson and Tasman regions welcome any ideas about how to deal with the challenges freedom campers bring.

But added, "not necessarily sure the solution of banning the sale or the hiring of campervans is the right solution but we definitely need some help in that regard".