21 Mar 2011

Freedom campers facing instant fines

6:58 pm on 21 March 2011

At least half of New Zealand's city and district councils are expected to have the power to instantly fine illegal freedom campers in time for the influx of visitors for the Rugby World Cup this year.

However, not all councils believe fines will be a deterrent to campervan users who leave faeces and rubbish behind at beaches, lakefronts and other council reserves.

A change in the Local Government Act allows councils to introduce a bylaw allowing them to instantly fine people camping on public reserves without their own facilities to contain sewage and waste water.

Many councils have drafted bylaws for public comment, proposing fines for first offenders ranging from $100 to $250.

Tasman District Council chief executive Paul Wylie says his council wanted the owners of campervans to be fined, not their drivers.

He believes people may escape fines by giving false details when they are ticketed.