5 Aug 2013

Dunedin iwi cautious about freedom camping

8:02 pm on 5 August 2013

A Dunedin iwi says it wants the council to promise that relaxing freedom camping laws won't impact its wahi tapu or sacred sites, such as marae.

A Dunedin City Council sub-committee heard submissions on Monday on a by-law proposing trial sites for campers who don't have onboard facilities.

The Motor Caravan Association welcomes the idea, however camping-ground owners and coastal residents warned freedom camping could get out of hand.

Te Runanga o Otakou spokesperson Edward Ellison says freedom campers are attracted to the scenic areas where its marae and other wahi tapu are located.

He says local Maori are concerned that such sites will continue to be littered by campers under the proposal.

Mr Ellison says it the iwi is in talks with the Dunedin City Council to be certain it has support mechanisms in place that protect the values of the iwi.