'Pathetic' freedom camping rules slammed

Macandrew Bay retiree Neil Morris holds a freedom camping ticket he received recently while...
Macandrew Bay retiree Neil Morris holds a freedom camping ticket he received recently while whitebaiting. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Another  Dunedin whitebaiter ticketed for freedom camping says the rules are "pathetic''.

He spoke out after a whitebaiter was slapped with a ticket beside the Waikouaiti River and was then forced to move his caravan several metres to an exposed highway layby.

Retiree Neil Morris said he parked his self-contained campervan beside Riverbank Rd North, in Henley, on September 18.

After a pleasant but largely unsuccessful two days whitebaiting on the Taieri River, he was stung with a $200 fine for violating the council's camping bylaw about 2pm on September 20.

The 65-year-old said the ticket was issued by a Dunedin City Council contractor, who made no effort to signal to him they were issuing tickets.

"They've got their wee Gestapo, and they don't knock on the door, they just sneakily come around and put a ticket on.''

The Macandrew Bay resident said he could not understand why he was ticketed for staying more than two consecutive nights, given he was fined on the afternoon following his second night.

He believed the least the council could do would be to put signage in place clarifying the rules, but also suggested the two day limit was far too short.

"I quite like going down by the river and sitting there reading a book while you whitebait for four or five days.

"You've got to wonder why it's only two days. Do they want me to drive back to Macandrew Bay every third day, and then back down there for another two days?

"I told the guy at the DCC: `maybe I should just sell my campervan and go into a home'.''

A DCC spokesman said the camping bylaw stipulated a departure time of 8.30am after a maximum stay of two consecutive nights.

Anyone who felt they had been incorrectly served with a freedom camping infringement notice could appeal via the process shown on the notice, or on the DCC website, the spokesman said.

Mr Morris' wife appealed the ticket in writing to the DCC yesterday morning.

george.block@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

While it's ok to rip off the overseas visitors.. OMG you watch the news when it happens to a Kiwi