Draft Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw online submission

Council is consulting on a draft Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw. Submissions close on 11 October.

The bylaw will be the key tool used by Council and the community to deal with cultural, environmental and health and safety concerns caused by freedom camping. As long as no legal challenges arise, the proposed bylaw should be in force by the end of 2019.

Before making a submission, it may help to read about the proposed bylaw.

This form is split into 6 sections. 

  • Section 1 – proposed general restrictions
  • Section 2 – proposed enforcement approach
  • Section 3 – proposed prohibited areas (where no freedom camping is allowed)
  • Section 4 – proposed restricted areas (where self-contained vehicles are permitted for a maximum of one night in a four week period)
  • Section 5 – proposed ability to waive freedom camping restrictions
  • Section 6 - other feedback, comments or suggestions

Contact details

The draft bylaw includes the following;

  • Council can issue fines of $200 each for any of the offence listed under section 12. This includes behaviours such as using public facilities to wash dishes, hanging out laundry or defecating in public.
  • Self-contained freedom camping is allowed for a maximum of 2 nights in any 4 week period on all Council owned or managed land that is not designated as restricted or prohibited.

Council will investigate reports of someone camping in a way that they are not supposed to. In the first instance the council will educate and provide a warning to the camper. If the warning is ignored, we will consider whether escalated enforcement action is needed.

We will use the best enforcement tool to help prevent non‐compliance in the future. This can include;

  • issuing a formal warning,
  • issuing a $200 infringement fine,
  • seizing any equipment used in the offence,
  • clamping
  • or seeking a court order or prosecuting the offender.

The proposed approach allows an enforcement response based on the individual circumstances of the case including the seriousness of the harm and attitude to compliance.

Proposed prohibited areas cover parts of the District that require the most protection including most residential and business areas and wāhi tapu and mahinga kai sites. More information about how these sites were assessed can be found in the ‘Site assessments’ document.  

Prohibited areas include: 

Under the Freedom camping Act 2011 freedom camping must be allowed in Kaikōura. Freedom camping can only be restricted through the bylaw for one or more of the following reasons;

  • To protect the area;
  • To protect the health and safety of people who may visit the area; and
  • To protect access to the area.

Restricted areas where self-contained vehicles are permitted for a maximum of one night in a four week period;

The draft bylaw proposes that applications can be made to council to waive or change the Freedom Camping restrictions.

The draft bylaw proposes that applications can be made to council to waive the Freedom Camping restrictions. Consent must be applied for in writing to the Council. Council must decide to grant or decline the waiver within 20 working days of receiving the application. Council must notify Te Runanga O Kaikōura and Nga Uri O Mangāmāunu and affected parties of applications received. Council may charge fees may or add conditions.

It also proposes that Council may temporarily close or restrict freedom camping in any area to protect it. The temporary closure shall not exceed 90 days without review from Council.