Tourists let­ting it all hang out anger lo­cals

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS -

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.

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