Campers who flout the Queenstown Lakes district's freedom
camping bylaw this summer could be hit with a $200 fine.
Early morning checks recently began for summer and Queenstown
Lakes District Council regulatory manager Lee Webster said
there was no specific date when the patrols would stop.
The patrols focus on the residential and central business
district - where freedom camping is prohibited - and then
move to restricted areas.
Contractors spend two hours, usually 5am-7am, checking
whether people are camping in prohibited areas and whether
campers in permitted areas have their own water and toilet
facilities within their vehicles.
Campers found breaching the rules can be issued with a $200
fine, under the bylaw which came into effect last December.
The former bylaw also allowed fines to be issued.
The checks cover Queenstown, Wanaka and Arrowtown and the
council also has volunteers in areas such as Kingston and
Mr Webster said the council was unable to determine a ''hot
spot'' as such, because places patrolled are recorded as
areas, such as Queenstown or Wanaka.
He said a judgement on whether campers had taken notice of
the bylaw could not be made until after the Christmas season.
In the second week of January this year, Mr Webster told the
Otago Daily Times there had been 511 fines issued
since December 22 the previous year.
For the same period a year earlier, 279 fines had been