Residents urged to speak up on freedom camping

The recent proposal announced by the Auckland Council would allow freedom campers to stay at seven sites around the Howick Ward.

Howick ward Councillor Sharon Stewart says the proposed sites are concerning and local residents deserve a chance to have their say.

“Freedom camping is a controversial proposal within our communities, so I’m pleased that the Council is planning a public consultation phase before any final decisions are made on these locations in Howick,” Stewart says.

“A lot of local residents have been in touch with me to express their concerns since the trial period was conducted earlier this year, with most opposed because of the potential for damage to property and treasured public spaces.”

Most of the proposed sites are well-trafficked parks and beaches, and she says it has been seen in other areas of New Zealand where this approach has caused problems.

She says rubbish and general cleanliness issues are a big part of why people dislike freedom camping in their area.

“During the recent Council meeting to discuss this proposed bylaw, I attempted to raise further objections on behalf of our community to the sites it would still allow freedom campers to use, but was voted down.

“While I believe freedom camping has a place in Auckland and in the Howick Ward, I also feel it should be strictly limited to spaces that have adequate facilities like toilets and responsible rubbish management. I’m not currently convinced that the identified locations properly fulfill those needs,” she says.

Stewart wants to encourage local residents to speak up and make submissions on this proposal when the public consultation period begins.

“It’s important the Council understands how it will affect our area.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi , having been a freedom camper for many years and spent some great times talking with many local residents including easten beach music point howick beach mellons bay most are disgusted with the attitude of a few residents in their selfish attitude towards this issue = most vehicles that are certified by wings club are in fact taking away more rubbish than they bring = example last week howick beach a group of people drinking enjoying their night left leaving bottles, macdonalds bags all kinds of trash, bucklands beach last week during the day opposite the motel a family spent a few hours and left leaving a pile of trash under their car, it is i believe common knowledge that some tourist budget campers perhaps leave rubbish including human waste and i am sure if you ask some residents from music point they will tell a few stories about this, i think it is easy for blind residents who take a walk in the mornings and see all the rubbish including human waste from those that party at these places and of course have long gone to just blame responsible certified wings club members, freedom campers, perhaps if they took a picture they could be shown that if a freedom camper is going to walk 20 – 30 mtres past a bin to drop rubbish it is most likely the trash and crap is from some other persons.

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