Proposed Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw

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Consultation has concluded

Proposed new Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 

THIS CONSULTATION IS CLOSED.

This consultation period closed on 5 December 2021. Thank you for having your say.

 We received feedback from 1,617 people and organisations.

 Key themes included:

  • majority support for the use of general rules, in principle
  • mixed support for the proposed general rules:
  • 68 per cent support the self-containment rule
  • 39 per cent support the maximum stay rule
  • 28 per cent support the set departure time rule
  • 40 per cent support the no-return period rule
  • opposition to most of the 45 proposed prohibited areas
  • opposition to most of the 22 proposed restricted areas

Read the feedback report for more details on the feedback given.

What happens next

Local Boards presented their views on the public feedback to the Bylaw Panel on Friday 22 April 2022The Bylaw Panel considered all public feedback and local board views and deliberated on Friday 29 April and Monday 2 May 2022.

Next, the Bylaw Panel will report its recommendations to the Governing Body at its meeting on Thursday 23 June 2022.


You are welcome to attend and observe the governing body meeting, which is also live-streamed and can be accessed here.


You can read reports to the above proceedings:

  • a copy of the report to the Bylaw Panel can be found here
  • a copy of the report to the Governing Body will be made available on council’s website no later than Monday 20 June 2022 and can be found here.

Please note, there will not be an opportunity to speak at any of the above proceedings. All oral feedback was heard by the Bylaw Panel and staff at ‘Have Your Say’ events during the public consultation from 26 October until 5 December 2021. 

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 asked for 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. From October 26 to December 5, we asked you to tell us what you think of this new Bylaw proposal.

We wanted 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 had 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

 

 


Proposed new Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 

THIS CONSULTATION IS CLOSED.

This consultation period closed on 5 December 2021. Thank you for having your say.

 We received feedback from 1,617 people and organisations.

 Key themes included:

  • majority support for the use of general rules, in principle
  • mixed support for the proposed general rules:
  • 68 per cent support the self-containment rule
  • 39 per cent support the maximum stay rule
  • 28 per cent support the set departure time rule
  • 40 per cent support the no-return period rule
  • opposition to most of the 45 proposed prohibited areas
  • opposition to most of the 22 proposed restricted areas

Read the feedback report for more details on the feedback given.

What happens next

Local Boards presented their views on the public feedback to the Bylaw Panel on Friday 22 April 2022The Bylaw Panel considered all public feedback and local board views and deliberated on Friday 29 April and Monday 2 May 2022.

Next, the Bylaw Panel will report its recommendations to the Governing Body at its meeting on Thursday 23 June 2022.


You are welcome to attend and observe the governing body meeting, which is also live-streamed and can be accessed here.


You can read reports to the above proceedings:

  • a copy of the report to the Bylaw Panel can be found here
  • a copy of the report to the Governing Body will be made available on council’s website no later than Monday 20 June 2022 and can be found here.

Please note, there will not be an opportunity to speak at any of the above proceedings. All oral feedback was heard by the Bylaw Panel and staff at ‘Have Your Say’ events during the public consultation from 26 October until 5 December 2021. 

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 asked for 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. From October 26 to December 5, we asked you to tell us what you think of this new Bylaw proposal.

We wanted 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 had 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

 

 


Experiences


If you’ve had direct experience of freedom camping in Auckland, we wanted 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 could be positive or negative, but we were 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 read the experiences other people have shared below.

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.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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    “Freedom” camping Waiheke

    by Mako, 8 months ago

    We are

    permanent residents with young children. Last summer many spots we go to with our children early in the am (dogs have to be off beach by 10) were occupied by people sleeping in cars. It is a very jarring use of public recreational facilities and severely curtails enjoyment when beaches are clogged up with vehicles screened up windows and bodies. Kids ask questions about why people are in their cars at what is far into the morning for us and the whole scene with dirty dishes towels etc is deeply unpleasant. We have a campsite that’s fit for... Continue reading

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    Restrict Parking on Tamaki Drive along Kohimarama

    by ApandJude, 8 months ago
    The Freedom camping by-law proposed is generally positive

    However overnight parking needs to be further restricted along Tamaki Drive to also include the length of Kohimarama Beach in the interests of safety and accessibility

    This beach is used increasingly by families for picnics , swimming , and recreational activities , ( kite and wind surfing ,and canoeing ) Let alone the many yachting regattas The number of walkers and joggers has also increased tremendously , driven by the lockdown , but will continue as Aucklanders and visitors have come to further appreciate this iconic beach

    Parking is becoming dangerous as... Continue reading

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    Muriwai Beach

    by Cheryll Beatty, 8 months ago
    We are the licensors who operate the Muriwai Beach Campground which is located within the Muriwai Regional Park. We lease the buildings from Auckland Council and run the business as a commercial operation.


    The campground can cater for up approximately 400 guests and is fully equipped with modern facilities. Freedom camping is not permitted within Muriwai Regional Park but based on our experience every week there are people freedom camping in the car park directly opposite the campground entrance.

    The Rangers are not able to issue fines they can merely ask people to move on but their requests are often... Continue reading

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    No, no, and no to freedom camping

    by beach lover, 9 months ago
    We had our share of 'freedom' campers in Browns Bay: they felt 'free' to leave their garbage behind, to use the beach as a toilet, to poach clams and sea urchins and to leave the shells in the sand for us to step on these and sustanin injuries (urchins!!!). Browns Bay is a small family beach and cannot accomodate the onslaught of 'freedom' campers who infringe on the locals' freedom to enjoy the beach
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    Sharing the spaces

    by Rob Bayes , 9 months 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, 9 months 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, 9 months 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, 9 months 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
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    Don't Bunch All Freedom Campers Together as Baddies

    by Gally 1, 9 months 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, 9 months 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