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Opinion: Red Bridge camping site welcomes 'Freeloaders'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Is it normal for people to congregate in a fenced area surrounded by porta loos and rubbish skips with 50 other vans all parked less than 3 metres apart on a gravel pit? I would liken it to a prison camp if it wasn’t for everyone sitting up at their little tables sipping wine.

After the new hub at the Red bridge has been introduced it has shown us how many of the freedom campers are not really camping but "Freeloading". So QLDC council I congratulate you because I believe that your trial was to show everyone that these people travelling around our country are freeloaders and should not be allowed to freedom camp in New Zealand. They are not responsible and that this now gives NZ government some balls to stop foreigners from Freedom camping. It is not adding value but taking from NZ tax payers.

Its unbelievable that the council has used over $530,000 grant from the government or should I say taxpayers money to trial these free hubs and supply a fleet of cars for Responsible camping ambassadors to direct them to the hubs. Why should we work out buts off to support a group of freeloaders.

So the Council gets rid of the recycle station at Lake Hawea which was paid for by ratepayers but they are now happy to pay to provide skips for "Freeloader responsible campers" to dump all their rubbish in at the gravel pit/hub. Having a look in the skips, it was loaded with rubbish and lots of pizza boxes. Most of this rubbish could have been recycled. Not sure why they only supplied a skip rather than a recycle station?

The signage at the hub is confusing as it has the recycling sign but the QLDC is providing a skip. Do they then have to pay someone to sort the rubbish.

The Hub is very confusing. One person thought it was a car yard to buy vans. Really.

So you tell me that in our district we have zones for camping grounds which have to follow camping 1985 camping ground regulations and you have doc Camping sites also. I am not sure if council has a certificate of registration for the Hubs but they sure aint following the rules.

So I had a look at the vans and they all have the sticker saying "self contained" with a picture of a campervan. None of the vans look like this and none of them are self contained because if they were self-contained they would not have to take their loo out of their van to go to the loo. All of these vans if they have a loo are hidden underneath at the back and if 98% of people of people don’t use their vans in a hired campervan you tell me why would you use one in these little vans. You physically have to take your loo out of the van to do your business and then put it back in your van and drive around until you find a dump station. Imagine the smell in your van!

Some of the vans "camped" at The Hub - Is it a van or is it a car - yes I am asleep in there.

And the typical set up:

Looking into this further:

So the next part of the trial should be to get the van owners to demonstrate out their van is truly self contained.

So let me know if I am wrong but I would say that 90% of the vans that were parked in the "hub" with self contained stickers did not have a loo that could be used inside the campervan with the bed made up. And majority of these were not campervans but just little old vans. I couldn’t see anyone sitting down doing their business in their van as the smell would be unbearable let alone unhygienic as I am not sure how many people have loos that close to their bed and food.

So New Zealand you cease to amaze me to think that you are happy to support these "freeloaders" and think that creating responsible camping strategies are the answer. The answer is to ban foreigners from freedom camping and stop pretending that they are responsible and prevent the freeloaders. If you can’t physically use your loo in the van then you should not get a sticker and you should not be allowed to freedom camp. And aren’t you getting sick of seeing people getting changed and sleeping everywhere on the highways.

So who is this country protecting? It should be protecting the environment and local business. So look after the locals, look after New Zealanders and let them be responsible freedom campers and ban all foreigners from freedom camping. There are plenty of holiday parks to look after our guests. The Holiday parks are to get rid of their rubbish, provide showers. It should be a user pays system as it is not the councils job to spend tax payers money on freeloaders.

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