Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Catlins campers once again have a dedicated responsible camping ranger helping educate them on appropriate places to camp this summer.

Date:  12 November 2018

Papatowai local Scott Martin will again be patrolling popular tourist spots armed with pamphlets and educational resources to help encourage people to camp responsibly as part of the responsible camping initiative.

DOC Senior Ranger Brent Affleck says the Owaka-based role is a dedicated position to help actively manage the increasing visitor pressure on the Catlins coastal amenities.

“The Catlins is a beautiful area that has become increasingly popular with visitors. Our challenge is to manage any impact increased visitation numbers may bring to the region, while still providing the opportunity for visitors to experience the unique landscapes, wildlife and history the Catlins has to offer.”

Following last year’s successful launch, the joint DOC, Clutha District Council, Southland District Council and Catlins community initiative has returned for a second summer, with a view to continue during summers for the foreseeable future.

The role takes an education rather than infringement approach and will provide valuable feedback to DOC on the impact of tourism on this wonderful part of New Zealand, Brent Affleck says.

The data gathered from last year has proved very effective in creating an overview of the habits of the campers passing through the region.

Clutha District Council Planning and Regulatory Group Manager David Campbell says the council was pleased with the trial ranger role last season and is supportive of extending the season to commence earlier this summer.

“Community feedback has been really positive. The council has agreed in the Long Term Plan 2018–2028 to contribute funding for this. Our next steps involve reviewing the camping bylaw and areas where infrastructure can be provided.”

Southland District Council environmental health manager Michael Sarfaiti says the new service proved successful during the 2017/18 pilot, with high levels of compliance observed.

“Dog control educational duties have been added this year to the ranger’s duties, with the aim of improving compliance with the local dog control rules in Curio Bay.”

Ranger Scott Martin will be on patrol until the end of April 2019. He will also be conducting surveys to find out more about the types of visitors who come to the area.


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