The Otago Daily Times...
Camp waste infuriates residents
Tue, 9 Feb 2010
Kingston residents say they are fed up with the mess left by freedom campers at the lakeside village and want the Queenstown Lakes District Council to take "direct action" in tackling the problem.
"This is becoming a really big and frustrating issue," said Kingston Community Association chairman Peter Gibson.
"We see people camping all over the place without facilities, both at the lay-bys and picnic spots along the lake, and along the lakefront reserve within the village," Mr Gibson said.
"The rubbish left behind is bad enough, but the worst part is the human waste.
It is getting worse, and the locals have even nicknamed one of the lakeside beaches near Kingston `pooh beach' for obvious reasons."
Mr Gibson said he would often see up to 14 campers at the popular lay-bys on the outskirts of the town when he drove past in the evening, and it was not uncommon to see people sleeping in their cars parked around the township.
Members of the community association had told him they had seen people sneak into the local holiday park to use the facilities without paying to stay at the park.
Kingston Motels and Holiday Park manager Peter Connolly was aware of this issue.
"We can't really monitor it effectively, but our customers often report seeing people coming in to use the toilets and showers late at night without staying here at the park.
"It appears to be a common problem around the country," he said.
Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager of community services, Paul Wilson, said bylaws prohibited camping at residential areas around the region, including smaller townships like Glenorchy and Kingston.
But it was legal to park overnight outside residential areas, provided the campervan in question was fully self-contained with toilet facilities, he said.
The problem was most of the freedom campers did not have facilities on board, he said.