A left over from the previous government, the ‘Freedom Camping Act 2011,' is causing ructions across the country. Local authorities are finding freedom camping and its consequences virtually impossible to deal with, and communities are showing growing resentment.
The concept is unacceptable and unsustainable. It is ill-conceived, anti-community, and anti-environment. Anti-environment because encouraging increasing numbers of tourists to travel here further increases the fragile climate problems, both internationally, and here.
Toilet paper blowing the breeze along scenic routes, plastic debris and other rubbish scattered about, hardly maintains the advertised merits of this beautiful, “clean, green country.” Nor does more and more human waste in streams, lakes or the bush assist our declining water quality.
Although passed supposedly to assist our GDP, this Act is having some unfortunate effects on smaller business like traditional camping grounds.
This confused and confusing Act should be repealed. However, If the government wishes to persist with this ill-conceived concept of ‘freedom camping,’ it should use some of its revenue from its ‘Visitor Tax’ to provide or purchase a few areas of land around NZ for these well heeled visitors and to also ensure close monitoring and enforcement of the appropriate rules on these Government sites.