Bid to rid Macandrew Bay of campers

Board members voted unanimously to recommend the council abandon the Macandrew Bay trial site.
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 Rd.

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 double-parked.

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 themselves.

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 playground.

"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.



Tourists welcome?

By comparison with many other countries, New Zealand is one of the worst when it comes to roadside facilities for tourists. We are told that tourism is a multi-million dollar business but, as a country, we are pathetic when providing for traveller toilet or ablution facilities.
The RTA fails to construct such facilities when spending billions on new highways. Local councils consider that a few painted parking lines will suffice for tourists. Thousands of tourists come by cruise ship but are not well served when considering toilet or ablution facilities.
Many many other countries look after their travelling visitors far better then NZ. The RTA should have a look at Malaysia to see how super-highways are built to bypass towns and provide roadside toilets and coffee shops. So what is the Minister of Tourism doing? Probably never travels in a campervan?

City life

Come on please, we all have to 'put up with' things we dont like. It's called city living. If you want isolation then move out of the city! Have you not been to George Street or the surrounds after 11pm through until the early hours? Do the residents living in the city love the drunken students and cars cruising around in circles into the early hours? Well no, of course not. But as with all city living, compromises are made. Why should Macandrew Bay be exempt from tourists? If they are breaking rules then it's good to hear more security is in place to keep a check on the minority of these visitors whose brush you are using to paint them all. Again, you live on a well trodden tourist route, and please dont tell me you were not aware of this. You are not a 'special group' - you are city of Dunedin residents.


Setting up a camp site in Mac Bay has been a fiasco. Some points:

- If waterfront property with a car park and toliets is what is required how about St Clair, St Kilda, or the Wanaka water front? I can only imagine the response...
- The council says in the article they are surveying the campers - how about surveying the local residents who pay your salary?
- Mac Bay only has one playground - lets give it back to the kids that don't have the option of going elsewhere
- The council is setting up more security patrols... Get real. Why should we now live in an areas that has to now have security officers turning up every night? What a great situation for our kids and us.
-  All those who don't live in the area and support the campers should really consider if they would tolerate their kids having their park soiled, tents, overcrowding, drinking, ccoking in the local bus stop and all the other behaviour talked about.


The trial is finished

DCC, you gave it a crack. You proposed fair rules that ended up being abused. Nobody can say you didn't at least give it a try.

Unfortunately, the minority - as always - destroyed this for the majority. Time to allow this place to revert back to what it's been for as long as I can recall.... and that ain't a camping area. 



Freedom camping

The council's trial of this Mac Bay site is proving to be totally wrong for freedom camping.

Council officals need to try again as they are the cause of this problem. There is nothing wrong with freedom camping - this site needs to be shifted to a place that can handle the need without causing bad feeling.

It would be a sad day to see the council ban freedom camping due a poor choice of site. 

The answer seems simple enough, if these officals will simply listen. 


On the verge? I think not

Maybe I have the location wrong, but from what I see when I drive past they are next to a park and across the road from the harbour. I dont see them right outside anybody's front door. As for the bus stop 'fry up's' well seriously.... are we to believe this is the place to eat? Again, if you see such behaviour report it. There are already to many rules and as far as I am concerned tourists, gypsy or not, should be more than welcome. As for threats with knives, that of course is a serious thing and I hope this was reported to the police and not just the ODT.

Mac Bay campers

While each camper may only stay one or two nights, it's every night for the residents, no matter how short a stay each individual camper has. Why should any residential area become a de facto camping ground? It's not in the district plan and they have had no say in the matter. Local authorities in NZ need to develop dedicated freedom camping sites that are properly equipped and overseen. Maybe for a small fee - and yes, this won't be freedom camping per se - but why should it be allowed anyway? Other people are paying the cost - environmental and otherwise.
I just can't get over people telling the Mac Bay residents they have to put up with this. Get 10 or 20 camper vans on the verge outside your house, complete with freedom toileting and see how you like it. It's getting out of control and needs a serious rethink by the council. People are entitled to complain if an activity is affecting them. I'm sick of the cry from others telling people they have to stay silent. Why the hell should they? 
Their community is turning into a circus. They have every right to voice their concern. And, people will be put off buying houses there - which will affect the value of residents' homes. I'd be upset too. 

OK for us

Is not New Zealand a place where as we grow up we pride ourselves of the memories we hold of camping trips in random places, maybe a beach or a stip of land that is your secret place? Are we not selling ourselves as a country with space and scenery to behold? Wake up to the world around you Macandrew Bay, you are spoilt for space and views. Those people choosing to share those views are on holiday and will report back, I hope, how fantastic a place New Zealand is. In London and many other cities you are lucky if you can get a parking space let alone a view. And please, seriously, these visitors will not be spending weeks camped out as let's face it - a night there is all you need before moving on. This smacks of not on our doorstep but OK if they move up the road a bit. The rules are there - get the council to enforce them.


Nobody ever got rich off freedom campers. They arrive in the country, they hire a van.  They pay for fuel and minimal food.  They are usually on the cheapest possible tour of the country.

Freedom campers

The residents of Baldwin St have to suffer this rubbish everyday - people in their steet, in their front yards, buses which obstruct the view up and down North Road, noise, rubbish... the list goes on. And it's the council behind it - the people in the street don't make anything out of it and they probably don't get rates relief either for putting up with the tripe day after day.
The freedom campers are for the most are only sleeping over. Those opposed to the freedom campers should stop whining - you are no more special than anybody else just because you live at Mac Bay.

Macandrew Bay freedom campers

I totally support the Mac Bay residents in this. Why should any community have to put up with this kind of invasive situation and especially one they had no say in? I live near a freedom camping site and what many people don't realise is that many people with campervans/touring buses have generators which they put on for hours on end at night while they cook or watch TV - and we have to put up with the noise.

We pay rates but get the bum end of the deal for freeloaders passing through. The kind of behaviours going on in Mac Bay are unacceptable and I don't blame the residents for getting upset about it. All the people accusing them of nimby-ism, etc, should have this happen in their street in front of their kids and see how they like it.  All of a sudden your neighbourhood turns into a free-for-all gypsy camp and that's not fair for anyone. 

Freedom campers

We get freedom campers here too, staying overnight at a popular weekend recreation area (not an official freedom camping area, shock horror!) But they are never a problem and I've yet to see one flash, poo in the bushes or dump rubbish. To be honest, a minority of the 'local' weekend townies tend to be more of a problem.

Money for....

A value judgement here. Is the money these people bring worth a few pees and poos in nearby bushes? 

Amenities come at a price

Marky: As I see it Macandrew Bay has views, a beach, a playground, cafe and dairy, and is on a route well used by tourists. Do you really think this road would be so well maintained if it was just being used by the very few residents who live out that way? Would the cafe or dairy be supported enough to remain open without tourists? I think not. If you choose to live in such a place I'm afraid it comes at a price, and that price is tourists. Enforce the rules? Fair enough, but campers should be encouraged.

Paying visitors

Buck: What's your address so they can be sent your way? Pull your head out of the clouds. It's fine when it doesnt affect you, your suburb or your children. I am all for visitors to our city, but maybe if they want to come here they should do as the rest do and put their money in their pocket and acutally pay for these services in order to put income back into the city as you suggest. [Abridged]

Hang on

Hey, why not put all tourists in a central city underground car park totaly out of our view! Come on please, how are these visitors to our city supposed to enjoy it if residents like this moan when they come here? I just dont get this. It's a public place for all the people to use, not just the immediate residents. For me it should still be allowed and what's more encouraged for freedom campers to visit and stay there, within laid down rules. Dont blame the tourists - blame those enforcing the regulations. If you are so concerned as residents then why not do something positive and set up a community freedom campers watch?Get together with the council and become official wardens. Hand out information to the visitors explaing the rules, and make the council enforce them. Do that rather than moanining and wanting them pushed out of your view. 



Macandrew Bay campers

I cant believe how ungenerous this is. Why not welcome these precious visitors? I often talk to these delightful people (who come here and spend their money in our city). Let's stop being so petty and welcome these people. They do no harm. How about providing more toilets and a few more facilities? For every one that has a good time, they will tell their friends and we will get ten more visitors to Dunedin. Shame on you all!

Stadium car-park use?

"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." Now that's a smart idea - isn't it ? And Council erect a few toilets,showers etc. and a BBQ and charge for the use via a caretaker? Might make more money then the stadium!!!

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