Responsible Camping Community Reps Needed

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Kaikōura District Council is seeking two community representatives to join a Responsible Camping Working Group that is being formed to address freedom camping in Kaikōura.

Mayor Winston Gray discussed the move saying, "Councils are sometimes criticised for having lots of meetings and making little progress. In some cases people may have a point, but when it comes to managing camping in our district Council knows that the only way we can succeed is if we bring everyone together to work collectively to create a solution that will work for us as a District, as a community and as a tourist destination.”

“We’ve chosen the name ‘Responsible Camping’ because Council believes that this is the best way to describe the attitude we’re taking – it’s also the outcome we are seeking for our community. We want to ensure that we act responsibly now to protect Kaikoura’s natural environment while also protecting the right of future generations of to enjoy camping responsibly as part of the kiwi way of life.”

“Even those who are most vocally opposed to freedom camping recognise that camping along our coastline is something many of our residents as well as our visitors treasure. Most also recognise that tourism is an important part of our local economy. What this means is that we have no choice but to find a way to manage the impact of badly behaved campers whilst encouraging responsible campers to enjoy our District sustainably” he said.

The working group will work with Council to agree how camping should be managed in Kaikoura. Members of the working group will include agencies such as the Department of Conservation who have legal authority over some of the land used by campers within our district. They will also include organisations who have an interest in the Kaikoura environment or economy, including our tourism and accommodation sectors. These organisations and individuals are being contacted and invited to take part.

Council expects the working group, supported by Council staff, to be able to make significant progress on the issue of responsible camping before the next summer busy season, but recognises that permanent solutions to some of the issues are likely to be some time away. Council remains committed to having improvements in place for our worst affected areas before next summer. 

3 July 2018