Responsible Freedom Camping

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 Freedom camping in the Kaikōura District will be subject to the normal controls contained in Kaikōura District Council’s Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw 2019. These controls include, but are not limited to, requiring self-contained vehicles, definition of prohibited camping areas and limits on how long campers may stay in permitted areas. Please support our local businesses and accommodation providers as much as possible, thank you.

Kaikōura welcomes those who camp responsibly. We ask all campers to treat our environment with respect and not to leave rubbish or human waste behind them.

Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw


The Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw 2019 outlines where camping for free can and cannot happen in Kaikòura and all relevant rules and fines.

Council encourages travellers and campers to use local accommodation as much as possible.

Under the Responsible Freedom Camping bylaw, all council owned or managed land in the district is either; a prohibited area, a permitted area (with restrictions) or a designated responsible camping site. The bylaw does not cover private land, Doc land, KiwiRail or NZTA land. Those who want to camp for free must check the Responsible Camping Bylaw 2019 and follow all applicable rules or face a minimum $200 fine.

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Complaints, issues and requests for service


Responsible Camping Bylaw enforcement

Responsible Camping Ambassadors are here to help educate visitors and residents and make sure the bylaw is followed. Fines can be issued for any/all of the following;

-not following the rules for the area (includes camping in prohibited or closed areas, overstaying etc.)
-interfering with or damaging flora or fauna or any structure (fences, signs etc)
-not disposing of effluent or solid waste properly
-using public facilities to wash clothes, dishes other items or bathe (other than facilities intended for that purpose)
-camping in an area that has been temporarily closed. 

The issue will be referred to our Responsible Camping Ambassadors and responded to as soon as possible. 

Noise Control, Animal Control and Parking 

Complaints about wandering or aggressive dogs, wandering stock or potential animal welfare concerns. Complaints about noise. Complaints about illegal parking (not paying, parked over several spaces, overstaying stated time limits). 

  •  Call 027 668 8780 (24/7 service. Please call. Texts will not be received or replied to.)

Calls will be dealt with by on-duty staff. 

Rubbish, littering and human waste

Council is responsible for managing any issues around human waste or dumped rubbish

  • call 03 319 5026 (business hours only)
  • report an issue anytime through the Contact Us page 

Council staff will log the complaints with the appropriate team and they will be dealt with as soon as possible. 

Public Safety/Indecency

To raise concerns about personal or public safety, drug or alcohol abuse, inappropriate behaviour, public nudity/indecency including toileting please contact the Police.

  • For urgent or life-threatening issues call 111
  • For non-urgent or life threatening issues call the Police on 105

Fire Safety

Members of the public concerned for their safety or safety of their property due to a fire should always call 111.

Fire and Emergency NZ are responsible for managing fire safety in NZ, including fires on or near our beaches and coastal areas. Council works with FENZ to ensure our communities are aware of any fire regulations and know what they should or should not do. 

The future of the Kiwa Road/Meatworks area


The Kiwa Road area is seen by many users including those who whakapapa to the area as an iconic Kaikōura treasure with cultural significance.

The number of people using the area has grown significantly over the past few years and caused issues including damage to the environment, safety concerns and concern for the protection of wahi tapu and mahinga kai areas.

In 2018 Kaikōura District Council successfully obtained $35,650 of funding to consult and develop a Masterplan for the Kiwa Road area from the government Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF). Since receiving the TIF funding, Council has gathered initial ideas from key area users, residents and iwi members about how the area should and shouldn’t be used and what the current issues are.

These ideas and suggestions have been used to create a draft principles and options for how the area should be used in the future. 

Learn more about the Masterplan.

19 May 2020