Since the council has taken a tougher stance on freedom
campers at Macandrew Bay, more campers have been using the
Vauxhall Yacht Club's car park. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A sterner stance from the Dunedin City Council towards
freedom campers at Macandrew Bay seems to have had unintended
Vauxhall Yacht Club commodore Peter Sutherland said while
freedom campers had used the site ''from time to time'' in
the past, he had noticed an increase since the council took a
tougher stance on enforcing the rules at Macandrew Bay
earlier this year.
Up to five non-self-contained vehicles are allowed to park
overnight at designated areas in Macandrew Bay, Ocean View
In response to Macandrew Bay residents' concerns about
campers' behaviour, the council erected more signs at
Macandrew Bay's site last month and security patrols were
visiting four times a week to give campers information
brochures and move them if allocated spaces were full.
Mr Sutherland said the moves might have contributed to an
increase in campers using the yacht club's car park.
One or two vans did not cause a problem. However, up to six
had been staying some nights in the club's car park, which
had created parking problems for club members, he said.
The public toilets and rubbish bins seemed to be coping with
the increase in campers and there had been no security
issues, but he ''wouldn't like to see too many more'' using
the car park.
''I wouldn't like to see it as a designated site,'' Mr
Dunedin city councillor and Vauxhall resident John Bezett
said the problem would get worse as Portobello Rd got busier.
''There's 4000-5000 people who use Portobello Rd every day.
It's dramatically increased over the past few years ... and
the fact is it's going to get worse,'' he said.
He did not ''personally see campers as an issue'' but he
believed Dunedin needed a permanent solution that worked for
the city's residents and campers.
''The answer is not Macandrew Bay and it's not Vauxhall Yacht
Club. It's the wrong spot, but it's the right idea,'' he
''We should be looking at other sites, [which are] Doc-style,
time-allocated freedom camping parks.''
A long-term solution needed to be instigated ''sooner rather
than later'', he said.
Council acting reserves and recreation planning team leader
Paula Dickel said there had not been an ''upsurge in
complaints'' from Vauxhall residents since the council
clamped down at Macandrew Bay.
However, the Vauxhall Yacht Club could contact the council
and arrange for some sort of parking solution during event
Vauxhall resident Mike Coburn said he had seen freedom
campers at the car park but had not ''noticed a significant
He had no problems with the campers, although the rubbish
bins were occasionally overflowing.
''But, generally speaking, they are tidy people.''
Freedom campers were good for the area as long as amenities
were emptied and resourced to cope with them, he said.
Ms Dickel said the council would begin looking at alternative
sites for freedom campers on the Otago Peninsula after the
concerns about Macandrew Bay were raised, and residents would
have an opportunity to give their thoughts on prospective
Council staff would explore alternatives and report to the
council at a meeting on June 3.