Monday, 20 May 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

New Freedom Camping Bylaw in effect

New Freedom Camping Bylaw in effect

Thames Coromandel District Council says they welcome campers to the Coromandel, but as of midday yesterday their new Freedom Camping Bylaw is in place and will be enforced district wide.

TCDC has undertaken a review of their bylaw and the adopted 2014 bylaw states all freedom campers must be in a certified self-contained vehicle. If anyone is camping in their car, a tent, or in a vehicle that doesn't have a certified self-contained toilet on board, they still need to be going to either a commercial or DOC campsite.

"We are freedom-camping friendly, but need to balance this with protecting our environment. Our special environment is why people want to come here in the first place," says TCDC mayor Glenn Leach.

As part of the new bylaw, TCDC also needed to look at areas where it is considered necessary to restrict freedom camping. The Community Boards around the Thames Coromandel district finalised areas that are prohibited and restricted for reasons under the Freedom Camping Act. Within these restricted areas there are some designated areas which will allow freedom camping, but with limitations on numbers of vehicles and limits to how many days.

TCDC says they are also working with the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association on developing a "Camping Pack" which will be sold in i-Sites from mid-December. The packs will have all the information needed for a safe and happy trip to the Coromandel, as well as a few added extras such as a TCDC rubbish bag, postcards of the Coromandel and a drink bottle.

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.