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The plaudits by Waikouaiti Coast Community Board chairman Gerard Collings came as acting group parks and recreation manager Tom Dye outlined a raft of measures aimed at tackling the issue in a report to be tabled at today’s community and environment committee meeting.
This included "significantly" upgrading the Warrington Domain toilet block, expected to cost $50,000.
The council issued a notice on its website saying the block would be closed from Wednesday last week until September 24 while work was carried out, with portable toilets available onsite during the period.
Additional toilets would be located at the south end of the domain for the peak season and would be serviced daily.
Extra rubbish bins would be installed, there would be daily rubbish collections and litter sweeps and staff were reviewing signs in the area.
At another site designated for visitors with non self-contained vehicles, the Ocean View freedom camping site north of Brighton, rubbish bins would be upgraded and new water taps and toilet latches had recently been installed.
The council would also increase its presence on social media and work with other councils to ensure there was consistency across New Zealand.
Staff were also continuing to work with the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board to reduce the impact freedom camping had on the community.
Mr Collings praised the more proactive approach staff were taking at Warrington before the start of this year’s busy season.
"I think the council are making the best of a bad situation.
"The current facility is long overdue for an upgrade anyway, but the additional toilets should alleviate some of the anti-social behaviour that has been associated with freedom camping," Mr Collings said.
That included people, not just freedom campers, going to the toilet in the sand dunes.
The issue of too many people using the domain during peak season still needed to be resolved, but he and Cr Andrew Noone were working with staff to find solutions.
This included the option of having a freedom camping site at Waikouaiti to help relieve pressure on the domain.