23 Aug 2015

Dunedin moots freedom camper fines

1:30 pm on 23 August 2015

Dunedin City Council is hoping a proposed $200 fine for illegal freedom camping will give teeth to the area's camping laws.

Camper van

Photo: 123RF

A bylaw change would also further restrict where freedom campers without certified self-contained vehicles can stay to just two spots - Ocean View Reserve car park or Warrington Reserve - along the popular Otago Peninsula.

City councillor David Benson-Pope, chair of the planning and infrastructure committee, said a fine would strengthen the council's hand.

"We had no power to sanction people who weren't playing by whatever rules the community wanted to set," said Mr Benson-Pope. But once a system was in place, collecting even half the fines would raise enough money to police the laws.

"The big change is the capacity and the funding to monitor and police much more efficiently."

Submissions on the bylaw change will be heard this week, with the aim of it being introduced before summer.

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