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.


Experiences


If you’ve had direct experience of freedom camping in Auckland, we’d love to hear about it. 

Your experience might be from freedom camping yourself or from encountering freedom campers in places that you live, use or visit. 

It can be positive or negative, but we’re particularly interested to hear about: 

  • your experiences in Auckland (rather than elsewhere in New Zealand)
  • recent experiences (things that took place since 2015, or – even better – since 2018)
  • where you were in Auckland, and approximately when (if relevant).

You can also read the experiences other people have shared.

You can also upload photos to illustrate your story if you wish.

All of the experiences uploaded on this page will be shared with the Bylaw Panel, alongside the feedback on the Bylaw that we receive through the survey.

You don’t need to fill out the survey to share an experience, but we encourage you to do both. (To give us your feedback on the Bylaw proposal, click on the Feedback Form)

Remember that other people will be able to view an experience you upload on this page, and we may also reproduce parts of it in our public feedback summary. People can’t make comments on your post. All posts will be moderated and may not appear immediately.

If you want your experience to be kept confidential (i.e. only seen by staff and the Bylaw Panel), please email it to us at freedomcampingbylaw@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz with ‘Confidential freedom camping experience’ in the subject line. We won’t publish your name or any identifying details in the public feedback summary.

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    Sharing the spaces

    by Rob Bayes , about 9 hours ago
    My wife and I have been motor homing in our nz made shelf contained camper van and members NZMCA for the last 15 years , we are retired and love our trips away staying and meeting like wise people all over the country. It is sad to see council’s taking a hard line approach to this recreational activity, a big percentage are retired and responsible people out to enjoy the years left , you build recreation facilities

    rugby ,football, league , netball ,swimming leisure Center’s for the younger age group’s at huge costs so why not provide adequate areas for... Continue reading

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    Matheson Bay Freedom / Free Rein Camping

    by Peter Spence, about 14 hours ago
    As a resident of Matheson Bay, we participated in the trial for Auckland Council, which moved the camping to the grassed area accessed by Matheson Bay. The community saw this as a positive event. However, post the trial, freedom camping has become unfettered. On Anniversary Weekend, we have had up to 27 vans [and some tents] on the reserve [which by Rodney bylaws should hold 6 only].


    Over all the time of freedom camping, the missing ingredient has been management by Council; now it has reached the stage that unfettered camping has lost the community support - unsustainable numbers; poor... Continue reading

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    Gross generalizations

    by SBW, 1 day ago

    I am tired of hearing stories about people finding poo etc in parks and blaming freedom campers.

    Everybody has to do their business somewhere, and freedom campers become a convenient scape goat for what is a human need.

    Freedom campers, such as ourselves are Auckland (also Waikato and BoP) rate payers - we are your people, we are not 'others', we deserve to use your facilities and not be shunned and locked out of using them. The way some freedom campers have been treated in Auckland (by the council) over lockdown has been aweful.

    Shame on you Auckland City Council... Continue reading

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    Disgraceful council

    by Homeless and passed off, 3 days ago
    Freedom camping has been an only option during lockdown. The council refused access to their camp sites stating that they have high safety standards so we need to find a private site that does not have the same standards. The council have completely neglected it's duty of care for a substantial number of well meaning peopling who have been locked in fields whilst the council cut all water supplies and refused access to facilities. We just paid a massive rates bill and then was made homeless in our campervan. Disgrace
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Don't Bunch All Freedom Campers Together as Baddies

    by Gally 1, 9 days ago

    My partner and I have freedom camped in many places in NZ, including Auckland, for many years. We have loved the unique locations where we have been fortunate to stay, particularly those on the coast with water views. For example, Gulf Harbour.

    Years ago, before Self Contained certificates were born we had some pretty old vans that did not have a toilet.

    These days we have finally moved up to a modern van with all mod cons - hot shower as well as a toilet!

    Yet, regardless of the age and facilities of our vans, neither of us have ever... Continue reading

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    Freedom camping polluting New Zealand

    by tessah, 26 days ago

    We personally have witnessed so many incidences with Freedom Camping that I believe it is ruining New Zealand and the experience that most of us want for locals and overseas visitors.

    I've had an experience of sitting in the dunes, to have a smell nearby and discover it was human excrement, this is when we had young children running around with us. Beaches and seasides often have bits of toilet paper lying around decomposing. I like others look at some of the wagons with stickers on them and find it hard to believe they have a suitable toilet option inside... Continue reading

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    Van Life

    by SnikkieDee, 29 days ago
    My partner and I lived in our car in August 2017 to Feb 2018. It was not easy at all to find somewhere to park that was clearly allocated for freedom camping. We were members of a 24h gym so we could always use the bathroom and toilet facilities, fill up on water etc. We drove around everywhere from the city to the north shore all the way south to Howick. We at first tried beaches but quickly realised that although there are nationwide rules that freedom camping is a right, each area had local rules saying no freedom camping... Continue reading
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    Freedom Camping at Piha

    by Vanda , about 1 month ago

    I have been part of the Piha Community for a number of years, I also am a lifeguard and work in the area. The continued use of areas not designated for overnight stays continues. Poo in the dunes. Poo in the bushes along residential areas. Bags of rubbish left on the side of the road. FAKE self containment stickers ( at least 70% of the vehicles with the stickers cannot possibly have a toilet on board) clothing being dried on the trees and public areas. Dirty dish water and food scraps dumped. … on numerous occasions I have asked these... Continue reading

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    Tom morton freedom camping

    by Tom Morton , about 1 month ago
    I am not Self contained

    I have camped at reconised and invisible places

    (quiet residential /commercial areas)

    Generally eat at park or nice place then park at non freedom camping areas.

    Generally only one or two nights at a place.


    Hatfield during lockdown for 8 weeks till borders opened. My address is palmerston North


    Do not know any of these places as I prefer my privacy.


    Need open toilets


    If more places were available

    Rather than less you would have less problems.


    Also if you put campers where you have undesirable activities. The fact that campers were there.

    Car drifting... Continue reading

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    I am a Freedom Camper

    by Alanjm70, about 1 month ago
    Hello,

    My Name is Alan and I am a freedom camper, I made this choice 2 years ago because I am unable to afford Renting / Boarding in Auckland, I work full time and earn a middle wage I pay chikd support for 2 kids as I separated 12 years ago from my kids mother, in order for me to be able to move forward I have chosen this life style I have a roof over my head so I am not living on the streets, I shop at my local businesses and supermarkets , I would love to see... Continue reading

Page last updated: 01 December 2021, 14:10