Photo by Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Fewer $200 infringement fines may have been issued to
errant freedom campers in the Queenstown Lakes region this
summer compared with last, but some campers are still leaving
rubbish and even defecating in public areas.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council regulatory manager Lee
Webster said most offenders this summer had been ticketed in
or near Queenstown.
''We've certainly issued less infringements,'' Mr Webster
''I can't say whether or not that's because there's been less
people in town freedom camping or whether or not it is
because people are adhering to the requirements of our bylaw.
''Maybe people are adhering to the bylaw but we do still have
The council issued 794 infringement notices between November
2013 and mid-February 2014, 270 fewer than the corresponding
months last summer.
''As a council we have to clear that [rubbish from freedom
campers] away, [but] where we can, like anyone who's
littering ... we try and find if we've got an owner.''
But it was much harder to catch litterers from freedom
camping than those from households.
''With someone who's freedom camping it's usually just cans
or rubbish without anything that will link it back to a
''It's basically just us clearing it up.''
For some unknown reason the balance of infringement fines had
tipped towards Queenstown, with ''significantly'' fewer
issued in Wanaka this summer.
The council's first freedom-camping bylaw came into effect in
When the Freedom Camping Act was changed in 2012, the council
bylaw was updated and came in to effect on December 19 that
The public was consulted beforehand and this resulted in
impassioned hearings, with many oral submitters bringing
photos of rubbish left behind by freedom campers.
Some boundaries changed under the new bylaw but the general
principles remained the same, including allowing the council
to issue $200 fines.
Council enforcement officers worked for two hours in the
early morning and could ticket campers whose vehicles were
found in prohibited areas or did not have their own toilet or
Mr Webster advised people to report to the council incidents
of freedom campers breaching conditions of the bylaw.
By the numbers
Freedom camping infringement notices are issued by the
Queenstown Lakes District Council. Figures are from November
up to February 17 for last summer and this summer.
• 1064 infringement notices issued
• 587 paid 205 in process
• 272 cancelled
• 794 infringement notices issued
• 248 paid 437 in process
• 109 cancelled