Tourists letting it all hang out anger locals
The sight of underwear hanging from trees in a central city park has prompted a local business owner to call for changes to Rotorua’s freedom camping rules.
Jasmine Adams, the owner of the Top 10 Holiday Park, said she saw washing hanging between trees in Kuirau Park on Wednesday.
“I was upset more as a local than as a business owner. It was disappointing to see,” she said.
“I thought it was really disrespectful to be in a geothermal reserve. To see washing and undies spread out.”
Rotorua does not have a freedom camping bylaw.
Rotorua Lakes Council’s sport and recreation manager Rob Pitkethley said different bylaws in different districts were confusing for tourists and the government was looking at the issue to see if a national approach would work.
Pitkethley said in previous years, the council had received about five calls a month from people reporting freedom campers.
Pitkethley said the council increased signage in some areas last year and the number of reports had been lower this summer.
Nightly patrols are conducted around the CBD.
“We take a non-regulatory approach — campers are often already gone when we get there but if not, they are spoken to, informed of available holiday parks and camping areas and moved on,” Pitkethley said.
Washing hanging between trees in Kuirau Park has incensed a Rotorua business owner.