Funding boost to tackle freedom camping

Andrew Turner

The city is set to get a funding boost to help with freedom camping-related issues and support responsible camping.

The city council will receive $415,000 from the Government’s tourism facilities development grants fund, which is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The funding announced yesterday will pay for extra toilets in the New Brighton area, freedom camping-related education and signage, and monitoring and compliance as part of a package to support responsible camping in busy tourist areas in the city and Banks Peninsula. As part of the funding requirements, all of these measures will need to be in place by the start of December in time for the summer camping season.

The funding follows a recommendation from the Responsible Camping Working Group, which brings together representatives from the tourism industry, councils and government agencies across New Zealand.

Deputy mayor and member of the group Andrew Turner said: “Over the past two years, visitor numbers over the peak camping season have increased across the city and Banks Peninsula, so it’s a welcome relief to have some extra funding to help address some of the freedom camping-related issues.”

Freedom camping is prohibited in certain areas of Christchurch, including the central city, parts of New Brighton and a number of areas in Banks Peninsula. It comes as the city council is consulting on a change to the Freedom Camping Bylaw. The proposed changes would ban freedom camping in Akaroa, except for in one area for self-contained vehicles. Submissions on the bylaw amendments close on September 3.

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