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Kaikoura Council releases camping survey

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kaikoura District Council has released it own freedom camping survey hot on the heels of a nationwide survey by Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation.

The Kaikoura survey has been developed by New Zealand Tourism Research Institute and is targeted towards those that have freedom camped recently in Kaikoura.

‘Recently’ is undefined, but Kaikoura recently enacted new freedom camping bylaws. Their draft Freedom Camping Bylaw had a number of sites identified as being suitable for tent camping, while they had also developed a definition of ‘self contained Camping’ which had no requirement for certification, so was therefore inclusive.

That definition was essentially the policy of ‘Leave No Trace’ which has been further developed by the ‘Accredited Responsible Campers’ program launched by

Responsible Campers Association on behalf of Councils and other stakeholders.

Unfortunately due to pressure being applied by a RV organization and out of concern about the damage that could be done to their tourism industry if they were to lose their Motor-home Friendly Town status, Council elected to remove any non -certified self contained camping from its bylaws and make such camping a prohibited activity.

In so doing Council has forgotten that there is more to Freedom Camping then the ‘minority’ that use Motor-homes and//or Caravan to camp in. It is hard to see how catering to a minority segment of the market while forsaking the majority can be damaging to their tourism industry.

It is understood this maybe subject to an Ombudsman complaint in the future.

It is shocking that any Council fails to recognize this other major group of recreational outdoor users which can include Hunters, Kayaker’s, Trampers, Cyclists, and many others which includes locals simply wanting a night at the local beach.

The definition in the Freedom Camping Act is clear and includes anyone that camps within 200 metres of a ‘motor vehicle accessible area’ - that access can be by way of an off road motorcycle.

We encourage all outdoor users that freedom camp by way of UNCERTIFIED" self contained camping, to complete this survey and make sure your voice is heard as a "NON" Motorhome/ Caravan camper.

The survey can be accessed here;

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