QLDC seeks public input on freedom camping solutions

Jan 29, 2018

Queenstown Lakes District Council is seeking public input on the challenges posed by increasing numbers of freedom camping in the district.

The increase in freedom camper volumes in the district this summer, and the behaviour of a minority of those campers, risks degrading the unique experience on offer for both locals and holiday-makers.

QLDC will be reviewing its freedom camping bylaw and reserve management plans mid-2018, whilst also working with other agencies to develop a camping strategy that will inform Council policy on all camping in the district when complete. Ahead of formal consultation, QLDC is giving residents the opportunity to provide feedback and offer practical suggestions to create a more “responsible camper” culture.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult is looking forward to hearing what people see as constructive solutions to the challenges posed by increasing numbers of freedom campers.

“We’re genuinely looking for community-led solutions as part of this discussion, and they will be considered as part of our long term review. All reasonable options are on the table and I’d encourage anyone with an interest to take the time to leave their thoughts online.”

“People need to be clear – we’re not looking to ban freedom camping in the district, nor would we want to, but we definitely need a way to ensure that those who do camp here do so in a respectful and responsible manner. There’s no getting around the fact this will have an impact on responsible, self-contained campers, but in this instance the actions of an irresponsible minority mean we have to do something.”

QLDC will be stopping overnight campers from staying at council reserves at Lake Hayes Reserve and the Shotover Delta, while wheel clamping of vehicles camped overnight will begin on the Wanaka Lakefront. Dates for implementing these changes are to be confirmed and will be communicated.

To complete the online survey please visit http://www.qldc.govt.nz/your-council/your-views/freedom-camping-feedback/

Feedback is open until 5pm Friday 16 February.