Freedom campers looking to rest their heads at Panmure Wharf are out of luck. The Auckland Council has closed the Kings Road site to campers after some users interfered with public and recreational use of the wharf.
The decision is a u-turn by the council after the Tamaki River site was selected as part of a freedom camping trial which began last month.
The ‘‘dispersal programme’’ has made 29 sites, including Howick Village, Eastern Beach and Lloyd Elsmore Park, available for campers in an attempt by the council to stop them crowding into other hotspots.
Council social policy and bylaw manager Michael Sinclair says one of the key criteria for sites for the freedom camping pilot is that they not impede local access to public amenities. ‘‘Since visitors using this site are causing access difficulties, we’re removing it from the pilot scheme immediately.’’
Council compliance officers who have been monitoring the freedom camping sites say while campers at the Panmure Wharf were mostly well behaved, some had to be moved as they were staying past the 8am time limit and there were sometimes more campervans in the car park than were permitted.
‘‘Those are both breaches of the pilot conditions,’’ Sinclair says.
Skilled Auckland group Two Many Chiefs perform at Howick’s Uxbridge Theatre this Friday, March 17, from 8pm.