Camper vans rally at Easter on Taieri

All roads will lead to the Otago-Taieri A&P Showgrounds at Mosgiel next Easter, with more than 800 self-contained camper vans heading to the Taieri for the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association's National Easter Rally.

Rally organising committee treasurer Brian Wolff, of Sawyers Bay, said the event came to the South Island once every four years and was a major event in the camper van-motorhome calendar each year.

It was most recently held in the South Island at Christchurch, and at Cromwell before that.

About 1500 people were expected to head south in hundreds of camper vans. Rally participants would take part in a full four-day schedule, before being encouraged to spend a few extra days in the region before heading home again, Mr Wolff said.

The committee was working with the Dunedin City Council to try and establish a ''Motorhome Friendly Scheme'' for Dunedin in time for the event. That would involve ensuring a set of basic amenities were available at the site for the event, including additional temporary parking and dumping stations.

The cost of the facilities would be met by the association, but members wanted to keep council staff ''in the loop'', he said.

The council's revised freedom camping rules, introduced in September, would be included in the discussions, but Mr Wolff said he expected ''no issue'' for the event arising from those.

The rules allowed 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 nights. That eased an earlier restriction, introduced in 2011, which prevented more than two self-contained 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.

Mr Wolff said about 95% of the vehicles were self-contained.

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