Auckland Council is reminding Aucklanders that they have 10 days left to provide feedback on the proposed new Te Ture ā-Rohe Noho Puni Wātea ā-Waka 2022 / Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 2022.
Chair of the Freedom Camping Bylaw Panel, Councillor Linda Cooper, says the Panel is eager to hear all feedback.
“The other panellists and I want to hear what Aucklanders think of the proposed Bylaw. We understand that with no in-person events due to COVID-19 restrictions, it can be difficult to make time during the workday for an online session.
“The face-to-face communications we receive from these sessions are always valuable, and that’s why we’re happy to make ourselves available at evenings and on weekends to give you a chance to talk to us directly.
“It’s also a great opportunity to raise concerns you may have. I’ve heard that there is some information circulating about the proposed rules that isn’t entirely accurate, and we’d love a chance to address people’s questions directly.”
Consultation on the Bylaw opened four weeks ago, and feedback has been coming in steadily since, with Aucklanders sharing a wide range of views. We’ve answered some of the common questions we’ve been getting about the Bylaw below.
For the full proposed Bylaw and more information on the consultation process, visit the Freedom Camping Have Your Say webpage.
How can I give my feedback?
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, public consultation for the Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 2022 will be taking place online. Feedback can be given by:
- Completing the online feedback form
- Writing about your personal experience with freedom camping or campers
- Asking our experts a question
We held virtual Have Your Say sessions during November to give Aucklanders the opportunity to give verbal feedback directly to the Bylaw Panel.
If you weren’t able to attend one of these events but would still like to give verbal feedback to the Panel one-on-one, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can arrange another time for you. The Panel is willing to make themselves available at evenings and on weekends for these online feedback sessions.
Is it true that people in campervans would be able to stay overnight outside my house?
Yes. The Government’s Freedom Camping Act 2011 gives people the legal right to freedom camp on public land in Auckland, including on public roadsides.
Auckland Council can make a bylaw to limit this right, but we can only prohibit freedom camping in areas by exception, and where the area meets the criteria set out in the Act. Freedom camping in residential areas is not, in itself, grounds for a ban under this legislation.
If demand from freedom campers does cause problems in an area in future, we encourage you to report the activity to us so we can gather the evidence we need to justify a ban.
Why can’t we just keep the current bylaw? Do we have to do this now?
The current Bylaw will reach its statutory expiry date in 2022 and it cannot be extended. If it is not replaced before it expires, there will be limited restrictions on freedom camping in Auckland until a bylaw is adopted to replace it. We also need time to implement the new Bylaw before it takes effect, such as putting up new signage, once decisions have been made.
The rules in the current Bylaw prohibit freedom camping in most places in Auckland, but these were made before Parliament passed the Freedom Camping Act 2011. The rules in our new Bylaw must align with the national legislation, which means we have to take a different approach to managing freedom camping in Auckland in future.
I support freedom camping and think the proposed Bylaw is too strict – don’t Kiwis have a fundamental right to use public space, as long as they do so responsibly?
Freedom camping is a longstanding tradition for New Zealanders, and it provides a flexible and affordable way for both Aucklanders and visitors to enjoy our beautiful region. The Freedom Camping Act 2011 protects people’s right to freedom camp responsibly on public land.
However, over the last two decades, the number of freedom campers has grown rapidly alongside overall visitor numbers, and this has led to issues both at popular destinations and in more remote areas that lack infrastructure. The Act recognises the need for councils to make bylaws to protect sensitive areas, ensure people’s health and safety, and balance competing demands on public space.
What can I do if freedom campers are causing a nuisance, such as being loud, intimidating, blocking my driveway, dumping rubbish or invading my privacy?
If a particular vehicle is causing a problem – for example blocking your driveway access, dumping rubbish or making excessive noise – you can call our call centre on 09 301 0101 to request an enforcement response. If someone’s behaviour is causing you concern for your safety, please call the Police.