14 Jan 2013

Freedom camping bylaw challenged

10:55 am on 14 January 2013

A group representing caravan owners is taking Westland District Council to the High Court in a bid to get a bylaw on freedom camping quashed.

The bylaw introduced by the council in 2011 restricts freedom camping within 1km of a town or settlement.

The Motor Caravan Association said the rule is too restrictive and a breach of the Freedom Camping Act.

General manager Bruce Lochore said the council has been badgered by holiday park businesses to bring in the new rules, and has failed to justify the bylaw.

Westland Mayor Maureen Pugh said that is not the case. She says she understands some people don't agree with the bylaw and caravan owners feel they should be able to camp anywhere.

But Ms Pugh says the district doesn't want caravans and campervans to set up in townships overnight, as people don't like the look of them.

Freedom camping is when people set up somewhere without facilities and not at a designated campground.