Nelson will develop freedom camping bylaw

4:29 pm on 7 February 2017

The Nelson City Council plans to develop its own freedom camping bylaw, after special areas set aside over the summer attracted more than 3500 freedom campers.

Freedom campers - Aaron Marshall from the United States in Nelson over Christmas.

Aaron Marshall from the United States. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Deputy mayor Paul Matheson said the council asked the government late last year to allow an urgent freedom camping bylaw to be implemented in Nelson, but the request was declined.

Mr Matheson said the council then created special areas on the city fringe to accommodate the larger number of campers expected as a result of tourists diverted by the earthquake-affected State Highway One through Kaikōura.

The move angered some locals, but delighted those who prefer a free-wheeling holiday.

He expected the matter will be addressed at the council's first full meeting of the year later next month.

Mr Matheson said the council previously asked for a freedom camping strategy to be developed as part of this year's annual plan.

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