Date: 04 December 2012
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is making clear where people can freedom camp this summer on conservation land. Under the Freedom Camping Act, camping is expressly prohibited in areas clearly identified with relevant signage. At the same time, DOC has clarified sites that are now available to self contained campervans to stay overnight.
‘It’s really good that we have clarity around the issue now’, says Neil Clifton who has been managing the changes for DOC’s freedom camping options. ‘While opportunities abound for freedom camping on public conservation land there are also some restrictions that ensure that everyone gets to enjoy special places in a pristine condition rather than spoiled and soiled from misuse.’
Gazette notices identifying the places where camping is prohibited and where it is restricted to self contained vehicles are now on the DOC website (www.doc.govt.nz/freedomcamping) and copies of notices are available for viewing at all Conservancy and Area Offices, and DOC Visitor Centres.
‘We want people to get out and enjoy our natural heritage but we also want them to camp responsibly.’ says Clifton ‘We are part of a campaign to encourage responsible camping and this initiative will directly benefit New Zealand’s clean image. While we are encouraging people to enjoy their camping we also have to be prepared for transgressions, so where we encounter non compliance, we can impose a $200 infringement fee. Hopefully we can avoid having to do that.’
Nelson Marlborough Recreation Advisor
+64 3 546 3175 or +64 27 615 2393