New rules for freedom campers have been approved by the
Dunedin City Council, but without a blunt warning to
Councillors at Monday's full council meeting opted to approve
the council's new ''responsible'' camping policy and bylaw,
which eased restrictions across the city introduced before
the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
However, Fliss Butcher's push to add a blunt warning about
defecating in public to the top of a new freedom camping
brochure was defeated, after other councillors turned their
nose up at the idea.
Cr Butcher, a member of the hearings subcommittee, told her
colleagues some tourists were ''pooing on Otago'' while on
Submitters had expressed concern, including one Macandrew Bay
resident who discovered a tourist defecating in his garden
one morning, and Cr Butcher said a blunt message should be
She wanted the words ''Don't poo on Otago'' added to the top
of the brochure as a ''radical, in-your-face way of saying
'stop doing it'.''
''This is a real problem. It's not going to go away by just
pretending it's not happening. It is happening.''
Other councillors began to chortle as Kate Wilson expressed
concern at the wording and declined to be the resolution's
Mayor Dave Cull couldn't resist: ''You don't want poo in your
motion?'' he inquired casually.
As Cr Wilson shook her head, Neil Collins suggested a more
diplomatic use of the word ''defecate'' instead, but also got
The puns continued until John Bezett sniffed: ''I just don't
like it. To me, it's undignified.''
Cr Butcher's move was eventually defeated, and councillors
then voted to approve the rest of the policy.
The new approach would allow up to three self-contained
camper vans - those with toilets on board - to stay on sealed
areas of reserves and other public land for up to three
That eased an earlier restriction, introduced in 2011, which
prevented more than two selfcontained camper vans within 50m
of each other.
Those without toilets on board would also be able to stay in
one of three designated areas next to public toilets at
Macandrew Bay, Ocean View and Warrington reserve.