News & Events
SDC and DoC launch scheme to tackle freedom campingWednesday, 7 September 2011
Southland District Council and the Department of Conservation have launched a pilot scheme in the Te Anau and Manapouri areas to encourage responsible camping this summer. The Freedom Camping Act, which was recently ratified by Parliament, enables the joint venture between the two organisations to begin. The project involves employing a new camping ranger to patrol conservation and local authority areas around Te Anau and Manapouri. The ranger has the power to issue infringements to those breaching camping bylaws.
Southland District Council's compliance officer Angela Halliday said the ranger's preferred approach will focus on education and advocacy with fines being issued as a last resort. "We want to ensure that this initiative is not seen as anti-camping but instead pro-responsible camping," Ms Halliday said.
The ranger will complement the existing camping wardens that patrol areas within the towns during the summer season. "Although Te Anau and Manapouri are the main focus over Rugby World Cup time for camping, consultation with other areas in Southland where freedom camping has become an issue will be undertaken," Ms Halliday said.
Council and the Department of Conservation signed a Memorandum of Understanding for responsible camping in the Te Anau and Manapouri regions to accompany the initiative. The memorandum sets out a joint education and advocacy strategy covering issues such as public meetings, information material and partnership networks.
The Department of Conservation's programme manager Christine Officer said the aim of the memorandum is to promote responsible camping using education and information provisions. "Both organisations are excited to be working together in a collaborative approach to tackle the freedom camping issue within the local community," Ms Officer said.
Recruitment for the new position is underway with the ranger expected to start in mid October for the first seven-month term.
Information on designated freedom camping areas is available on Southland District Council's website at www.southlanddc.govt.nz. For nationwide information on freedom camping visit www.camping.org.nz.
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Southland District Council
P.O. Box 903
Phone: 0800 732 732
Fax: 0800 732 329