24 Jul 2016

No-toilet freedom camping may be flushed out

11:13 am on 24 July 2016

Councils across the country are considering taking a tougher line on freedom camping.

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Vehicles without toilets may be banned from camping overnight, if councils have their way. Photo: 1234rf.com Photo: 123rf.com

Local councils across the country, who are meeting from today in Dunedin, are considering infringement fines being tagged to the offending vehicle, and collecting fines before the campers leave the country.

A permanent ban on freedom campers with vehicles without toilets on board is being considered this week by the Christchurch City Council.

The councils will also discuss the need for greater resourcing for community policing, particularly in rural areas and in town centres where ratepayers are increasingly paying for CCTV monitoring.

Rental housing will come under the spotlight, in particular ensuring properties meet minimum standards to ensure tenants are warm and dry, and central government may end up being lobbied to shift more of its services out of Wellington to help protect regional economies.

Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said it was working with central government to provide better infrastructure to support freedom campers, but laws needed to be tougher.

"There is a small percentage who are in unconfined freedom-camping vans who don't have ability to collect toilet waste etc, who are breaching the laws and ruining it for everybody, and we want a tougher set of regimes to control that," Mr Yule said.

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