Group looks at camp­ing prob­lems

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

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.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Cromwell Mu­seum di­rec­tor Edith McKay.

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