Have your say…
The purpose of this blog is to allow locals the opportunity to provide feedback to our Banks Peninsula Community Board representatives, Felix Dawson and John McLister, on matters which fall under the Board’s ambit.
Current Hot Topic: Freedom Camping
Check out Felix Dawson’s comments on page 18 of the March 2018 DH Herald, read Freedom camping: ‘We all need to step up’ on Stuff or take a look at what others have to say and leave your own (polite) views below…
I’ve been walking through Stoddart Point morning and evening 4-5 days a week to and from the ferry for the last 10 years or so. I say hello to campers as I pass by, and almost always receive a friendly response. From my experience our campers are no different from any other sector of our human race: like cyclists, drivers, and even Diamond Harbour residents there are a few rat-bags, but most enjoy being considered as worthy members of humanity.
I also pick up litter while walking to and from the ferry, and my experience is that the vast majority of this comes from day-trippers, not over-night campers: their litter often includes discarded personal tissues and has included used nappies.
I’m also pretty confident that it’s not the campers who rip up the grassed areas with wheel-spinning cars from time to time, or tag the lighting bollards etc.
Sure the number of campers here has been increasing significantly over the last couple of years. NZ has encouraged these people to come and experience our country. Until we tell them not to come, we should make sure we provide suitable infrastructure so we can all enjoy this piece of paradise in our back yard.
And a smile and a greeting is a very cheap way to encourage community-minded behaviour 🙂
Hey there Felix and John
Coming from a different perspective on this subject, I work in the hospitality industry and can share experiences from a number of hostels. They find that not only are Freedom Campers menacing in communities, travellers also choose to freedom camp over staying in a hostel so that they can work for $$ instead of free accommodation in exchange for work – removing the willing workers approach.
According to some hostels, MBIE have contributed to Freedom camping as they have cracked down on hostel operators by introducing contract agreements for salaries over willing workers. This was brought on by exploitation in the ‘HOTEL’ industry according to some businesses.
So now, not only do hostels have to struggle with more paperwork and admin with minimal staff, but some of them have closed, or will be closing their doors as they cannot afford to meet MBIE expectations to pay all travellers the working wage – plus holiday pay. It’s apparently a logistical nightmare.
Not exactly supporting small business in NZ!
Hi Felix and John
We would like to see an end to freedom camping in the domain as this should be reserved parking for residents and daily visitors to Diamond Harbour only. Also to be considered is the fact that boats are moored in Diamond Harbour, these boat owners pay for their mooring and they should be able to park close enough to the wharf when visiting their boats. The more popular this site becomes the harder it will be for residents.
HI Felix and John, I am so pleased that you brought this subject up , it is long overdue in our community also. I met ‘new arrivals’ in NZ at our domain, it must be on social media, they arrive late at the airport, grab the van and drive to our site for the night. And “last night people” I met also, the night before their departure.
I noticed 3 seasons ago, faeces in public space, around 50m away from toilet block, where someone pitched a tent over night…and I had 2 more disgusting encounters during the past 2 summer seasons. Besides, the toilet block down at domain is getting blocked again just now, I smell it! When there are times with 12 or more vans, I see them in the morning, even today there still were 2!, using our public toilets to the point that they are overloaded, and then people go BEHIND toilet block because it stinks within (noticed by someone who did volunteer rubbish pick up recently) …there is a limit of how much we can take. I strongly feel against the vans as a means to travel and freedom camp, NONE ,not one, would use their chemical toilets provided, for the sticker, in the van. It is too stinky and too precarious to travel with. ALL of the vans, I am certain, use public toilets and public bushes, on the cliff walk even, beside walkway. I would like to see a NO-camping sign,keep our beaches and domains as just a carpark as mentioned by Annabelle. I saw on German websites, travel for free in NZ, how they still totally believe it is THE way to experience something different than Europe. You would not believe what they write to encourage people to travel, just like we see it! FREEDOM in all aspects. I am happy to voice my opinion with council too, if needed. Good work you guys. Lets keep the subject going over winter, since next season, they predict, we will see DOUBLE of vans/campervans travelling on our roads, they predict an increase from 66’000 to 110’000!
don’t want freedom campers… there is a perfectly good and cheap campsite at Orton Bradley Park.
I think the carparks at Soddart point are for locals and day trippers who spend money in cafes and on the ferry,.
I would rather ban it completely in our area as we are special and beautiful. But if not then offer 2 designated carparks as camping carparks only. So once 2 are full other people can be moved on by locals passing by.
(They do this at Snells Beach past Auckland).
I find that now campers will argue with me if they don’t see clear signage… in the past they accepted being told to move on.
So we now need signage in all rest areas! Including grass lay-bys
Hi Felix and John,
Have been ringing council over past year regarding freedom camping near Orton Bradley park.
Most recent and current job number is: 92387138 this is to request that the “toileted campers” sign be replaced with a “no camping” sign. at beach area located as 8 charteris bay road (basically opposite our old house).
previous request was job #; 921 83045 to originally request a “no camping” sign. this wasn’t acknowledged and the present camper with toilet sign has been erected and the job closed.
My previous complaints were job numbers: 922 02929 & 92208379
these regarding freedom campers