Is freedom camping out of control in Tekapo?

Lake Tekapo waterfront.

Locals are worried freedom camping has gotten out of hand in Lake Tekapo.

Business owner Stephanie Hagen raised the concern with the Tekapo Community Board, asking for regular patrols and more enforcement of camping laws.

“There are people sleeping in our streets in their cars. There are temporary staff sleeping in cars in laybys. Yet there is no evidence of enforcement to prevent this health danger,” said Hagen

“Essentially the message is loud and clear that no one is regularly patrolling and there is no timely action to complain. Freedom camping problems are not (being treated as) a priority.”

Hagen believes a regular patrol and authorities to enforce the rules are needed to spread the message that freedom camping is illegal in Tekapo.

“I accept that our locals need to step up and take responsibility to report inappropriate and illegal behaviour, but we need support from those tasked to enforce. The general arrogance and threatening behaviour of the young vanners makes for an unpleasant interaction when questioning their intent.”