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New Zealand Motor Caravan Association national policy and planning manager James Imlach told a council hearing panel in Queenstown yesterday the proposed freedom camping bylaw "punishes" its more than 90,000 members.
He accused the council of predetermining the outcome of the bylaw review, which he likened to a "sledgehammer to crack a nut".
"We will challenge it if we have to."
Mr Imlach said until now, the council had been "agile and demonstrated leadership" by trialling new rules and processes for managing freedom camping.
But the draft bylaw would expand the areas where camping was prohibited throughout the district, continuing a "slow erosion of opportunities" for its members.
The council had released updated information about camping this summer, including an online map showing the prohibited areas proposed by the bylaw which was "misleading and unclear", he said.
"The discrepancy between the existing bylaw maps, proposed bylaw maps and online maps is extremely confusing, and our members are again at risk of receiving invalid infringement notices.
"We believe the council has predetermined the outcome of the bylaw review and prematurely circulated public information on the presumption the bylaw will be adopted without change."
The only options left for freedom campers would be roadsides "in the boondocks" that were unsafe.
He recommended an amendment to allow at least certified self-contained motorhomes and caravans with fixed toilets to freedom camp in the prohibited areas.
Mr Imlach was one of seven submitters who asked to speak at the hearing. Others included representatives of the Tucker Beach Residents Society and the Southern Lakes Wind Riders Club.
Yesterday's hearing followed one in Wanaka on Thursday.
The council expects to make a decision on the proposed bylaw next month.