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Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

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Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

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.

odt.co.nz/news/queenstown-lakes/92420/camp-w…

Greymouth, New...
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1. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

Here s a report I received this morning on the same subject from Travel Memo, with excerpts from Mountain scene

...............' ‘Gutsful’ of rule-breaking freedom campers

Queenstown mayor Clive Geddes has told Mountain Scene

that he has had a “gutsful” of rule-breaking freedom campers

and is calling for a total ban.

Police were called in to move one lot on from Frankton Beach

a week ago after they had spent a month “dossing” around the

Wakatipu for free.

Rubbish and human waste is regularly found around free

camping no-go zones at Frankton Beach and Lake Hayes –

despite adequate toilets and nearby rubbish bins.

Geddes believes the only solution is to ban freedom camping

altogether. ”There’s a ton of information [about freedom

camping] but it’s only of so much value,” he says.

“The people who freedom camp without [onboard] facilities

and use the outdoors as a toilet space, and the rivers and

creeks to wash in are doing so in full knowledge that what

they are doing is wrong.

”For some reason they believe as a visitor they can denigrate

our countryside.”

Queenstown Lakes District Council community services boss

Paul Wilson told Mountain Scene he wants to replace the

existing “friendly patrol-type approach” to issuing instant

fines to those who flout the rules.

At the moment QLDC contracts Southern Monitoring to rouse

illegal campers from their slumber and issue warnings to

move. On average they tell 15-20 people off each morning............'

Interesting that is after they have stayed the night that they get moved on, be more proactive and sort them out ion the evening, or have a better population of Kea who will eat your camper while you sleep............

Edited: 09 February 2010, 02:41
Wanaka, New Zealand
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2. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

How annoying!

The human psyche is a complex thing. People will splash out quite a bit of money to go on holiday. But when it comes to legal use of a toilet and shower, they'll try and save a few dollars. Go figure???

I like the Kea idea though :-)

Wellington, New...
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3. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

Didnt we have an Australian a few weeks ago spouting the need for facilities at laybys and roadsides so that weary travellers could stop and sleep and whatever.

Yea right.

Sydney Australia
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4. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

I would favour the rouse them at night approach. Fines would be good too, but given the recently reported (and discussed) issue re speeding fines they'd want to make the fines quite hefty (I'm thinking high % cost recovery for the enforcement officers to patrol at all hours of the night) and link it back to the hire company for payment otherwise these cheap and clearly conscience free individuals would just skip out on the fine.

I heartily wish you all very good luck dealing with these ..... persons....

Feilding, New...
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5. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

Sadly the culprits are not only overseas visitors but many young New Zealanders too boozed to enjoy the beauty around them........it seems the animal antics of some idiots will spoil opportunities for others, among them, retired residents who, having worked hard and saved for years, finally get time to explore their country hoping to do a bit of responsible freedom camping in their self contained motorhomes. Camper vans without facilities and erecting tents where there are no facilities should be a cause for instant fines. The vehicles should be immobilised or impounded until the fines are paid. Draconian? Well why should these idiots be able to get away with destroying the image of our country and the opportunities for responsible campers to explore wilderness places?

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6. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

Totally agree.

The comment above of how much people pay out for their holiday rental, then won't shell out peanuts to pay to use shower and toilets at a campground is too true in many cases..

I agree the time is upon us when freedom camping has to be banned.Sad state of affairs to get to.

And yes I agree that all rentals should be fully self contained.And heavy on the spot fines for soiling our country.

Otherwise travellers are not truly paying their whack,are they?

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7. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

I would love to see those so-called 'campers' with no facilities banned, but it would then mean the bludgers would try camping in a car. Look at all the fuss that Aussie poster created when he complained he had to cut his dinner on his lap while sitting in his rental car which he was living in.

I do hate to think compliant campervans will be banned from freedom camping too. I don't think they are the ones making the mess.

And yes, some of the offenders are Kiwis, but here in the southern lakes area the vast majority are visitors.

Christchurch, New...
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8. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

Speak to DOC and council staff who have to clean dumped rubbish. An astounding number of "dumpers" are too stupid to take out the envelopes bills etc with their address on! Fines are one of those things that go on the credit card blank you leave with the hire company! It's interesting that the West Coast which has the more liberal rules specificly exclude some rental companies!

Greymouth, New...
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9. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

Maybe it is part of a society that we are guilty of raising, with an attitude of "well it is someones elses job to clean up after me"

I have witnessed even in the city with rubbish bins everywhere, froma car, a milkshake container thrown oput the window. the car stoppe dat the trafic lights, so I picked it up and threw it back in their open window at them. and told them to use a rubbish bin.They were not impressed. A similar event occurs here in Greymouth every Friday and saturday night, we can observe cars 'parked up' with rubbish on the ground between cars or otherwise, and rubish bins near the front of the car. These places are not hidden from view either.

Yesterday I attended a meeting run by Lincoln Universaty, where NZTA are looking at athetic values of our transport corridoors, to sort images into order of like or dislike etc. Some such places almost invite criminal behavior due to the unkempt state of gravel dumps etc by the road side. If any DEs have the time, get an invitation from lincoln university and make comment

Keighley, United...
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10. Re: Freedom Campers' Filth Infuriates

'Freedom-camper' seems to be another name for anti-social toe-rag. They sound like the UK version of 'gyppos'. These people wander the country setting up camp wherever they please, contribute noting to the local economy, and leave filth - including their own 'waste,' wherever they go.

My short experience of NZ would have me think that the authorities would have the nous and balls to tackle your problem head on; impound/seize vehicles etc. Whereas here in the UK, the 'human rights' laws makes it damn near impossible to do anything about these people.

We have 'wild-camping' here in the UK, but it is usualy people who do have full facilities onboard, and dont hide under some 'wanderlust' banner to avoid their resposnibiliites to the greater community around them.

Good luck on sorting them, as you cant afford to let it get out of hand like we have!

Edited: 09 February 2010, 20:28