Proposed Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw

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Proposed new Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw


What the bylaw does

Freedom camping is when someone stays overnight on public land.

The Freedom Camping Act 2011 gave people the right to freedom camp on most public land in New Zealand. This includes council-owned and managed land.

We want to ensure freedom campers camp responsibly and have a great experience while visiting Auckland. This means staying in suitable places, keeping themselves and others safe, looking after the environment and respecting their host communities and other campers.

Council can make a bylaw to set rules for freedom camping on the land we manage, but any areas where we want to prohibit or restrict it must meet the criteria set out in the Act. You can find out more in our Statement of Proposal or on our FAQs sidebar.

Our Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw will set rules for freedom camping in a vehicle on most council land in Auckland to protect:

  • areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive
  • the health and safety of freedom campers and other users of public space
  • access for everyone to our public places, facilities, and amenities.

The Bylaw:

  • identifies areas where freedom camping is prohibited
  • identifies areas where freedom camping is restricted and sets the specific rules that apply in these areas
  • sets general rules that apply in all other areas covered by the bylaw (including most roads).

Reserve land has been excluded from the scope of the proposed Bylaw. This means camping at Auckland’s reserves will continue to be managed under the Reserves Act 1977. The Reserves Act 1977 already prohibits all camping on reserves unless specific approval is given. You can find out more on our FAQs tab on the right side of the page.


What we want your feedback on

We asked for your feedback on an earlier version of this Bylaw, in 2018-19. After considering your feedback, the council decided to develop a new Bylaw proposal. Now we want to know what you think of this new Bylaw proposal.

We want your views on whether we have the balance right – between providing a safe and enjoyable experience for freedom campers visiting Auckland and protecting our environment, health and safety and access to public space for everyone.


You can have your say on

  • the recommended package of general rules, or your preferred alternatives
  • the proposed prohibited areas, where no freedom camping is allowed
  • the proposed restricted areas, where freedom camping is allowed subject to specific rules (including feedback on those rules)
  • any other bylaw clauses or matters covered by the Statement of Proposal


When you can have your say

You can have your say from 26 October to 5 December 2021.


How you can have your say

Visit the tabs below to:

  • Complete the online feedback form
  • Tell us about your personal experience
  • Register to give verbal feedback directly to the Bylaw Panel, at a Have Your Say online session
  • Ask our experts a question

You can also download the feedback form from the 'Key documents' section in the sidebar and email or post this back to us. Or, please call us on 09 301 0101 if you would like us to send you a printed form in the mail.


Proposed new Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw


What the bylaw does

Freedom camping is when someone stays overnight on public land.

The Freedom Camping Act 2011 gave people the right to freedom camp on most public land in New Zealand. This includes council-owned and managed land.

We want to ensure freedom campers camp responsibly and have a great experience while visiting Auckland. This means staying in suitable places, keeping themselves and others safe, looking after the environment and respecting their host communities and other campers.

Council can make a bylaw to set rules for freedom camping on the land we manage, but any areas where we want to prohibit or restrict it must meet the criteria set out in the Act. You can find out more in our Statement of Proposal or on our FAQs sidebar.

Our Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw will set rules for freedom camping in a vehicle on most council land in Auckland to protect:

  • areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive
  • the health and safety of freedom campers and other users of public space
  • access for everyone to our public places, facilities, and amenities.

The Bylaw:

  • identifies areas where freedom camping is prohibited
  • identifies areas where freedom camping is restricted and sets the specific rules that apply in these areas
  • sets general rules that apply in all other areas covered by the bylaw (including most roads).

Reserve land has been excluded from the scope of the proposed Bylaw. This means camping at Auckland’s reserves will continue to be managed under the Reserves Act 1977. The Reserves Act 1977 already prohibits all camping on reserves unless specific approval is given. You can find out more on our FAQs tab on the right side of the page.


What we want your feedback on

We asked for your feedback on an earlier version of this Bylaw, in 2018-19. After considering your feedback, the council decided to develop a new Bylaw proposal. Now we want to know what you think of this new Bylaw proposal.

We want your views on whether we have the balance right – between providing a safe and enjoyable experience for freedom campers visiting Auckland and protecting our environment, health and safety and access to public space for everyone.


You can have your say on

  • the recommended package of general rules, or your preferred alternatives
  • the proposed prohibited areas, where no freedom camping is allowed
  • the proposed restricted areas, where freedom camping is allowed subject to specific rules (including feedback on those rules)
  • any other bylaw clauses or matters covered by the Statement of Proposal


When you can have your say

You can have your say from 26 October to 5 December 2021.


How you can have your say

Visit the tabs below to:

  • Complete the online feedback form
  • Tell us about your personal experience
  • Register to give verbal feedback directly to the Bylaw Panel, at a Have Your Say online session
  • Ask our experts a question

You can also download the feedback form from the 'Key documents' section in the sidebar and email or post this back to us. Or, please call us on 09 301 0101 if you would like us to send you a printed form in the mail.


Q&A

If you have any questions about the Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw proposal that we haven't covered in our FAQ section, please post your question on the Q&A tab and one of our experts will answer it.

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    Table 2 of the Findings Report, Managing Freedom Camping in Auckland, lists 4 sites in Franklin (33 spaces) and 9 sites in Rodney (74 spaces) where Freedom Camping is allowed today. This seems to be allowed under Legacy ByLaws of the previous Councils of these two areas. My first question is are these numbers still the relevant numbers today? My second question is will the Proposed ByLaw make these Legacy ByLaws redundant and therefore no freedom camping will be allowed in these areas if the proposed ByLaw is adopted? Thank you David

    David5 asked 22 days ago

    Thank you for the questions.

    In relation to your first question, there are currently a total of 11 areas for legal freedom camping in Auckland, all in the former Franklin District and Rodney District council areas, which together provide 93 parking spaces for freedom camping vehicles. These 11 sites are listed on the freedom camping page on the council website. There were more than 11 areas at one time, but camping has since been disallowed in some of the areas listed in the original Bylaw provisions (for example Arundel Reserve and Orewa Reserve) due to issues at those sites. 

    In relation to your second question, the current Bylaw expires in 2022, and will be revoked to correspond with the date that the new Bylaw becomes operative (anticipated to be 1 September 2022). This means the new rules will replace the old rules from that date. 

    See our reply to the next two questions (immediately below yours), for more about whether freedom camping would be allowed in any of those areas under the new Bylaw proposal. 

    Note that: 

    •    the Bylaw Panel will be considering all feedback before making final recommendations about where freedom camping should be prohibited and restricted through a new Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 

    •    Local Boards will make decisions about allowing freedom camping on any reserves in their areas when developing Reserve Management Plans/Local Parks Management Plans under the Reserves Act 1977.


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    Why have the Snells Beach (and other reserve) car parks which currently allow freedom camping now been excluded from freedom camping? The ability for freedom campers to stay for 2 nights in the Sunburst and Snells Beach Road carparks has had a positive effect on the area. Now we risk freedom campers parking overnight in the roads near these car parks - especially as these areas have toilets and shower facilities. Criteria for designating areas for freedom camping.

    Diane Taylor asked 21 days ago

    Thanks for your question. The council's Governing Body decided in March 2021 to continue to manage all camping on reserves under the Reserves Act 1977 and exclude them from the scope of the Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean freedom camping can’t occur at any reserves in future, only that allowing it at a reserve will need to be considered in accordance with the intent and requirements of the Reserves Act 1977, rather than the (more permissive) Freedom Camping Act 2011. 

    Council is currently developing a new omnibus Local Parks Management Plan which will cover all of the local parks and reserves in the Rodney Local Board area. As part of this process, the Rodney Local Board will be considering whether it would be appropriate to continue to allow freedom camping in some Reserves Act reserves in Rodney, including the existing areas in Snells Beach. The Board will consider both the positive and negative impacts freedom camping can have in making its decision.

    The Board will seek feedback from the local community on the draft Local Parks Management Plan before it is finalised. The draft Plan is expected to be released for consultation in May 2022, so do keep an eye out for it if you'd like your views considered.


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    Could you clarify that the mentioned sites are going to be the only permitted sites for freedom camping in the future and that the sites in use now if not mentioned will not be available for camping

    Eileen O'Loan asked 23 days ago

    Thanks for your question. 

    If the new Bylaw proposal is adopted, it would replace the current Bylaw, including the current legal freedom camping areas.

    Under the Bylaw proposal freedom camping would be banned at: 

    • the named prohibited areas
    • other areas controlled by council where freedom camping is already prohibited under another enactment (such as reserves and regional parks).

    Under the Bylaw proposal, freedom camping would be allowed at: 

    • the named restricted areas (subject to site-specific conditions)
    • all other areas not otherwise prohibited or restricted (subject to the general rules).

    This means if an area is not specifically named in the proposal, the general rules would apply there, unless it is a reserve or regional park. 

    If there is a specific area you are interested in and you don't know if it is a reserve or regional park, you can email us on freedomcampingbylaw@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and we can check for you. Click here to read why we can't currently provide a list of all reserves in Auckland.

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    The proposal refers to Attachment B and the Legacy ByLaws. Where can I find Attachement B and the wording of the Legacy ByLaws that is being replaced

    David5 asked 26 days ago

    Thank you for the question. You can view the operative Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 2015 on the council website here. This is the first link in the 'Important Links' section at the bottom right of the page. We've now also added a PDF file of the Bylaw to the 'Key Documents' bar nearer the top right of the page, to make it easier to find and download.

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    How can I stop freedom campers camping outside my house and blocking my access and invading my privacy?

    Lou Wallace asked about 1 month ago

    Thanks for your question. If a particular vehicle is causing a problem – for example blocking your driveway access or making excessive noise – you can call our call centre on 09 301 0101 to request an enforcement response. If someone’s behaviour is causing you concern for your safety, please notify the Police.

    The Freedom Camping Act 2011 gives people the legal right to freedom camp on public land in Auckland, including on public roadsides. Council can make a bylaw to limit this right, but we can only prohibit freedom camping in areas by exception, and where the area meets the criteria set out in the Act. Freedom camping in residential areas is not, in itself, grounds for a ban under this legislation. 

    If freedom camping is regularly causing a problem in an area in future, we encourage you to report the activity to us so we can gather the evidence we need to justify a ban. 


     

Page last updated: 01 December 2021, 14:10