Phil Goff wants to change Auckland freedom camping rules, without impacting on the homeless

Phil Goff is calling for the Government to change the law around freedom camping, saying the community doesn't feel it's appropriate for people to park up within urban areas.

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“We need to deal with those two categories of people in a totally different way,” the Auckland Mayor says. Source: Breakfast

"The community would like it to stop and I agree," Mr Goff told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

The current legislation allows for people to camp anywhere except where it is explicitly prohibited, but Mr Goff believes the previous government passed the legislation "in a rush".

"You got reserves all around the city but is it good to have people out there in their caravan homes, hanging their washing across the road from a permanent resident?"

He'd rather freedom camping be outlawed everywhere, with travellers allowed to stay in specifically designated areas. 

However, Mr Goff says it's important not to confuse freedom camping with those who are homeless and sleep in their cars.

"The freedom camper is the person that chooses to sleep on the side of the road as part of a holiday … the person sleeping in their car because they're homeless are not there as a matter of choice, they have limited alternatives."

"We're not about to slap an infringement notice on them, instead let's connect them with our social authorities and our social agencies to find a permanent solution."

Mr Goff is awaiting a response from three ministers which he has written too, including the minister of local government and the associate minister for the environment.

"The answer they give us will tell us how we move forward."

"If they say no, we’re going to have to tighten up the way we set the constraints on freedom camping."