Board members voted unanimously to recommend the council
abandon the Macandrew Bay trial site.
Macandrew Bay may soon be free of freedom campers:
residents' opposition has prompted the Otago Peninsula
Community Board to seek immediate changes to the Dunedin City
Council's trial of designated freedom camping locations.
At their meeting in Portobello yesterday, board members voted
unanimously to recommend the council abandon the Macandrew
Bay trial site at Easter and designate another location for
the second year of the trial.
They also asked council parks manager Lisa Wheeler, who was
at the meeting, to have existing freedom camping signs at
Macandrew Bay changed immediately because they were confusing
and failed to get the council's message across.
The council trial allows up to five non self-contained
vehicles to park once overnight at designated areas in
Macandrew Bay, Ocean View and Warrington.
But up to 30 vehicles at a time are clogging the Macandrew
Bay site, alongside the community playground in Portobello
Campers are staying more than one night, and most are parked
well before dusk and long after dawn. The line-up of vehicles
obscures motorists' views and means school buses have to be
No parking space is left for people using the community
church and hall.
Residents say campers pitch tents in the playground and use
the public toilets for washing dishes, clothes and
They leave food scraps, attracting rats, and some urinate and
defecate in nearby bushes where they leave toilet paper.
More than 100 people raised those issues at a public meeting
in the Macandrew Bay hall on Saturday night, and three
residents did so at the board meeting yesterday.
One of those, Yvonne Temple, said campers had verbally abused
Macandrew Bay teenagers skateboarding in the park, and one
camper had threatened a young person with a knife.
Mrs Temple said the area, on sunny days, resembled a ''gypsy
town'' as campers aired clothes and bedding.
''That's perfectly normal for a camping ground, but not on a
main road in a residential area beside a children's
"Campers have even been seen cooking in the nearby bus
shelter, and I'm sick of seeing campers urinating in the
bushes when I'm trying to have my breakfast,'' she said.
Macandrew Bay resident David Holdsworth said the council
should allow freedom campers to park overnight in the Forsyth
Barr Stadium car park instead of at beaches and parks.
Ms Wheeler said freedom camping signs at Macandrew Bay were
being improved, security guards were patrolling the area to
remove overstayers, and campers were being surveyed.