Government plans to improve the management of free camping are being supported by the holiday park sector which says a national solution is overdue.
“It’s great that Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has decided to put resources into finding both short and long term solutions for this problem. We are looking forward to being part of the process,” Holiday Parks New Zealand President David Aflallo says.
HPNZ supports the Government’s Responsible Camping Working Group longer-term recommendations, and the immediate funding to be allocated to support infrastructure, enforcement and education this summer.
“The holiday park sector has always supported free camping in the right place and in the right vehicles. But we need measures to ensure free camping sites aren’t established in areas where they directly compete with local holiday parks,” Mr Aflallo says.
HPNZ is delighted that the Working Group’s report recognises the important contribution that commercial camping and holiday accommodation providers make to the camping network, and that this will be taken into account in any changes to free camping.
Strong leadership from Government will be needed to develop and implement long term solutions, he says.
These long term solutions will be the key, particularly the Working Group’s recommendations for reviews of the Freedom Camping Act and the Camping-Grounds Regulations 1985.
“We need a national solution that ensures that visitors know where they can and can’t free camp. Important considerations will be the impact on the environment; the health and safety of free campers, other visitors and residents; and the quality of the visitor experience for both the free campers and other visitors.”