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Rural Women New Zealand applauds Freedom Camping Bill

Monday 16 May 2011, 5:31PM

By Rural Women New Zealand

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Rural Women New Zealand is delighted to see results from its repeated calls for tighter controls on freedom campers, with the announcement of the new Freedom Camping Bill yesterday.

“For the past three years we have been highlighting the problem of campers without onboard toilet facilities fouling our rural roadsides and the emptying of effluent and grey water down cattle stops and roadside drains,” says Pam Thomlinson, Rural Women New Zealand National Councillor for Top of the South.

“We have seen some improvement recently, thanks to individual councils taking a harder line against freedom campers without onboard facilities, and more education by hire companies. However, the current regulatory system involving 67 individual bylaws is unworkable for campers and councils alike.”

The new Freedom Camping Bill will bring national consistency and will also allow local communities to decide where freedom camping is to be allowed.

“With a huge influx of tourists and campervans expected for the Rugby World Cup, this Bill comes just in time,” says Pam Thomlinson.

The new law will provide for a $200 instant fine for illegal camping that may be imposed on the camper or the vehicle.

“It will be important to be able to enforce these fines through the campervan hire companies if need be, by requiring them to record details so fines can be collected.”

With a national approach and better education and enforcement, Rural Women New Zealand hopes that our rural communities will once again be able to claim the clean, green image we all like to promote.