Freedom campers who visit Tauranga over the festive period may be issued with an infringement notice if they don't comply with the rules.
In June this year, Tauranga City Council commenced enforcement of its Freedom Camping Bylaw 2013. A fine of $200 can be issued to campers who are not in a certified self-contained vehicle, who park in a prohibited area or who stay at a permitted location for more than two nights in a calendar month. Other offences such as lighting fires or failing to remove all waste and litter can also result in a fine.
Since enforcement commenced, there has been an increase in compliance from freedom campers, particularly at the city's hotspot locations.
Stuart Goodman, Team Leader: Bylaws & Parking says, “Since we began issuing infringement notices, we have seen a decrease in the number of fines that are issued each month. We are really pleased to see that the majority of freedom campers are following the rules and are helping us minimise the impact on our natural environment.”
In June, a total of 264 infringement notices were issued; in October is was just 78.
“We are about to enter the busy festive period and Tauranga is a popular holiday destination for both domestic and international travellers. We are asking that visitors to our city follow the rules so that Tauranga can remain a friendly and reliable freedom camping location,” says Mr Goodman.
Specific locations across Tauranga have been set aside for freedom campers. At all permitted reserves, designated areas are clearly marked, with signage showing the designated areas and any restrictions.
“The colour of the designated areas will change over the next few weeks so that they are easily identifiable. Campers should look out for the green parking bays with a white campervan stencil,” say Mr Goodman.
All freedom campers who are planning to visit Tauranga should take the time to go to Tauranga City Council's website where all the rules around freedom camping are available. Campers travelling in a non‑self‑contained vehicle must book into a campground to avoid receiving an infringement.
Tauranga has 38 permitted freedom camping locations.