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Proposals for freedom camping rules include a $1000 fine, vehicle confiscation

Harsher rules for freedom campers and increased penalties could be on the way. 

Freedom camping, file image. Source: istock.com

The Government is proposing to make fines for freedom camping rule-breakers up to $1000, and even considering vehicle confiscation. 

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash released a consultation document today, wanting to gather public feedback on four proposals for freedom camping. 

That included making it mandatory for freedom campers’ vehicles to be certified self-contained or to only be required to be self-contained unless they are staying at a site with toilets, to improve the powers of Government land managers and to strengthen the requirements for self-contained vehicles.

"The most consistent complaints I hear about the tourism sector relate to abuse of the freedom camping rules," Nash said. 

"A sub-group of visitors are spoiling the experience for more responsible campers and for locals who are left to clean up the mess.

"Freedom camping in self-contained vehicles has a place for Kiwis and international visitors. 

"However, change is needed where vehicles are not self-contained, so communities have more confidence in the system. We want clear rules and expectations so we can deliver a high-quality visitor experience."