New Freedom Camping Bylaw for the Hurunui District

After an extensive consultation period and consideration of all submissions, councillors have adopted a new Freedom Camping Bylaw for the Hurunui District.

A review of the Freedom Camping Bylaw commenced in early 2016, with a proposed bylaw prepared and consulted on in October 2017.  As result of this consultation, a final proposal was then drafted.

Public consultation on the final proposal then ran from Friday 1 June until Monday 2 July.  18 submissions were received in this final round of consultation, with 6 submitters speaking to their submissions at the council meeting.

The council’s Regulatory Services Manager, Judith Batchelor, says the Freedom Camping Act 2011 (the Act) permits freedom camping on land controlled by the council, unless the council adopts a bylaw to manage it.  

“However for a bylaw to be introduced, the Act sets out a series of restrictive provisions which must be met in order to prohibit freedom camping.”

“The council’s adopted bylaw sets out exactly where freedom camping is permitted or prohibited on all council-controlled land.  Where it is permitted, the bylaw also sets out whether this must be self-contained camping.”

“We’ve also made the area-specific information contained in the bylaw more accessible with the addition of an interactive online map showing where freedom camping is allowed or prohibited,” Batchelor says.

The date the bylaw will come into force will be considered by councillors at the next council meeting.

Mayor Winton Dalley says the council’s decision to adopt a new Freedom Camping Bylaw was made in order to manage the increase in freedom camping the district is seeing.

“The council has been through a substantial consultation process with the community, and has responded by adopting a new bylaw.”

“Managing freedom camping has been difficult and controversial across the country, and each council has tried hard to balance and manage the positive and negative aspects of this age-old but fast growing activity, cognizant of the Freedom Camping Act and the views of the community.”

“Local Government New Zealand is also working with the Minister of Tourism to find lasting and fair solutions for freedom camping,” Mayor Dalley says.

All the information on the new bylaw can be viewed on the council’s website and the interactive online map showing the areas in which freedom camping will be permitted or prohibited, can be viewed at: http://hdc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=df1d85335d454088a4ad9441eeda66ca