You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
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 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.