I do believe there is a duty for us all to protect, enhance and treasure what we have. A Reid Freedom camping The TDC Proposal for Freedom Camping in Taupo includes 15 separate sites in the Urban Town.
The sites are strips of existing car parking spaces and reserve areas, in and around our community. Campers can legally stay 3 days/nights consecutively.
Some FC show the respect and expectations for this privilege. Some FC have consistently shown a disturbing range of activities and behaviour, in full view. Given more parking areas, more day/ night combinations, more public toilets etc may encourage unthinkable, yet unnoticed behaviour that requires extensive monitoring, repairing, policing, cleaning..
The AC Baths carpark could site 10-15 campervans, adjacent to Tauhara Rd, directly next to the Events Centre Stadium entrance. Local residents and visitors using the sport’s facilities, when entering/exiting the complex, could be exposed to undignified behaviour from some FC.
Some FC will no doubt use the toilets on the entrance level, as there is nothing to stop this happening. Washing of clothes, the entire body, teeth, cooking utensils etc have been common in public toilets all over NZ. This can only be very intrusive, especially when Regional and National events are taking place.
The Taupo Community Park [ Horomatangi St ] has been targeted as a ‘handy’ place for up to 30 campervans. Children, youths and adults use the area for a variety of games and activities.
The same may occur with the Kaimanawa Reserve/Kaimanawa St parking strip, where possibly 30 vehicles could camp. Unsightly, possibly very unsafe and intrusive for other users of the Reserve.
The 12 other suggested sites are inappropriate in an Urban setting, for the same reasons.
The solution is simple. TDC follows the national trend for most District Councils. Provide Freedom Camping outside Urban Areas.
Queenstown, Wanaka, Hawea, Rotorua, Marlborough etc have adopted these changes, and remain very attractive tourist destinations.
An example for Taupo Region; Whakaipo Bay DOC Camp site caters for a large number of FC. Excellent signage and monitoring provides a ‘good visitor experience’! ‘‘Outstanding result Hanna. Congratulations to the proud Coach too.’’ Comment on Facebook/Taupo Times story about the success of young golfer Hanna Kilmister.