Minister criticised on camper proposals

A Dunedin councillor has criticised Tourism Minister Stuart Nash for being out of touch with New Zealand travellers.

Mr Nash has been pursuing a crackdown on irresponsible freedom camping and one proposal is to make it mandatory for campers to use vehicles with self-contained toilets.

Dunedin city councillor Jim O’Malley pointed out New Zealanders formed the third largest group of freedom campers and proposed changes could hike their travel costs.

"These changes will sweep up everybody and it appears the minister is only interested in the wealthy and doesn’t seem to either realise or care about the average New Zealander with limited means," Cr O’Malley said.

The Dunedin City Council advocates being welcoming to campers and takes an educative approach to encourage the conduct it wants.

The council has achieved a 31% decrease in Camping Control Bylaw infringements and a 20% decrease in complaints related to freedom camping.

During a debate yesterday about the council’s submission to the Government about proposed changes, councillors lauded the success of the Dunedin approach.

"I feel like all our hard work and the good outcomes we’ve achieved have been reversed by a minister who has proven throughout his career, in my opinion, to be a friend of the privileged and the powerful," Cr O’Malley said.

The dunedin City Council provides places for freedom campers to stay, including at Ocean View....
The dunedin City Council provides places for freedom campers to stay, including at Ocean View. Photo: Peter McIntosh.


The Government’s approach had almost "a faint whiff of xenophobia and classism in it".

Decision-makers could either look to punish people for getting something for free or create policy that was efficient, worked and was welcoming.

The Government seemed keen to tap into "the mythical unicorn of the wealthy tourist", Cr O’Malley said.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the high-value tourist was an unfortunate narrative.

A spokeswoman for Mr Nash said his statements about freedom camping did not reflect Cr O’Malley’s characterisation.


Nash is just following the agenda of a private RV club who have for the past 30 years been trying to get a Government - any Government to give legal status to their ill-considered, discriminating self-containment certification. That the same private group is the sole representative of freedom campers on the government working group means they can promote (largely unopposed) their own theoretics (or as some call it agenda). The Government needs to listen to groups that represent all freedom campers not just an elite minority. The proposals put forward by the Minister have to fail and certified self-contained removed totally from the freedom camping programme. RCAi research suggest it only suits less than 25% of freedom campers who use RV's... The only possible place for CSC is on the camper rental fleet. #RCAi

RV club ? RCAi research? CSC ?
Sorry, I don't know what you are talking about. I'd like to. so please tell me what they stand for.

If you were actually the Minister i would, But RCAi (Responsible campers Association Inc (NZ only lobby group on behalf of all campers) regularly conduct research into matters around Freedom camping - ie a recent one was around how many RV based campers Certified self containment (CSC) actually suits (less than 25%). as to the RV club anyone with any knowledge of CSC would be very well aware of who that group is.. Regards Responsible Campers Association Inc



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