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QLDC Asked to Authorise First Freedom Camping Changes
- Feb 2, 2018
Council will be asked to authorise restricting overnight vehicle access at Lake Hayes and the Shotover Delta as the first steps towards addressing irresponsible behaviour by a minority of freedom campers.
A paper being presented to the Council on Thursday, 8 February will recommend the installation of gates to restrict vehicle access to the northern end of Lake Hayes and the Shotover Delta area. If approved the gates will be locked between 10.00pm and 5.30am with monitoring in place to enforce the changes, with new signage erected to clearly advise the rules.
QLDC General Manager Community Services Thunes Cloete confirmed that both Lake Hayes Reserve and parts of the lower Shotover Delta are classified as recreation reserves under the Reserves Act, and that defined their purpose and how they are administered.
“Recreation reserves are intended for sports and recreation activities, and for the welfare and enjoyment of the public. Also for the protection of the natural environment and amenity. As these sites are a combination of Council-owned and administered, QLDC is empowered and responsible for protecting the general well-being of the reserves, and we believe these overnight restrictions will retain the quality of the reserves whilst preserving public access,” said Dr Cloete.
The report considers a number of options to address the issues raised by the community. This includes creating an interim alternative camping site located at the Lower Shotover Bridge. After further consideration this option was deemed as not appropriate being likely to generate equally concerning issues on the site and surrounding area.
Instead the paper recommends that Council officers continue with the overnight closures of Lake Hayes and the lower Shotover Delta, and urgently progress a review of the Council’s Freedom Camping Control Bylaw and the Arrowtown Lake Hayes Reserve Management Plan, which had originally been scheduled for mid-2018.
“The Council will also be asked to direct officers to urgently progress developing a new district-wide Camping Strategy which has recently been initiated in partnership with DoC, NZTA, LINZ and MBIE. This strategy will set a long-term direction of camping that balances the needs of local residents alongside those of increasing visitor numbers,” said Dr Cloete.
QLDC is currently seeking community feedback and suggestions regarding the challenges posed by increasing numbers of freedom camping in the district.
For further information please contact QLDC General Manager Community Services Thunes Cloete on 03 441 0499.
Feedback regarding freedom camping can be submitted at the QLDC website: http://www.qldc.govt.nz/your-council/your-views/freedom-camping-feedback/
8 February 2018 Council Meeting Agenda and Freedom Camping Report: http://www.qldc.govt.nz/council-online/council-documents/agendas-and-minutes/full-council-agendas/2018-full-council-agendas/8-february-2018/