$8.5 MILLION TO FIX FREEDOM CAMPING

Tent above the sand dunes in coastal New Zealand.

The Government is taking actions to fix the freedom camping system in New Zealand. The Responsible Camping Working Group was established earlier this year as a joint effort between the Government, the local government and the industry to make suggestions of how to remedy the country’s freedom camping issue.

The Group recently returned its report to Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, who said it laid out great ideas for tackling the challenging issues that freedom camping presents.

“The Government has set aside $8.5 million for a package of initiatives that will support responsible camping so that campers and locals alike can enjoy their summer,” Davis said.

“The next peak season is fast approaching, and I want people to be able to camp responsibly while ensuring the facilities are in place to support our communities.”

Davis added that not all the Group’s recommendations could be resolved by this summer, but the Government will look at long-term solutions.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive, Chris Roberts was involved with the Group’s consultation and is largely happy with the Government’s decision.

“Campers are an important sector of New Zealand’s tourism industry. They travel widely through the country, tend to stay a long time and spend money on a wide range of goods and activities. The funding allocated as a result of this report will complement the information resources TIA and the wider industry have created to protect and retain New Zealanders’ rights to access and use our public spaces,” said Roberts