Group looks at camping problems
Freedom camping is under the national spotlight and has been pushed up the priority list ahead of summer.
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has commissioned a joint working group to ‘‘improve the effectiveness and reliability of the local bylaws system and specifically prioritising the freedom camping regime’’.
‘‘Last year, nearly 44,000 international visitors went freedom camping while they were here. With freedom camping season approaching this is a priority. It is a great opportunity for central and local government to collaborate and find a better way to deal with freedom camping issues.’’
Tighter local controls on freedom camping were having unintended consequences, he said.
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said Central Otago was a popular destination for freedom campers and she hoped improvements in the way freedom camping was managed and regulated would result.
‘‘I look forward to the analysis of freedom camping by the working group, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month.’’
Cromwell Museum director Edith McKay.