Freedom Camping Bylaw vote unanimous

The Queenstown Lakes District Council Freedom Camping Bylaw 2021 came into effect yesterday after councillors voted unanimously for it.

The new bylaw introduced further prohibitions on freedom camping within the district, maintained some restricted freedom camping areas, introduced two more restricted sites and council had the option to limit the number of vehicles in restricted areas.

Council undertook a comprehensive review of 105 council-administered sites following a council resolution in December 2019.

While 184 out of 285 public submissions stated the new bylaw did not take prohibition far enough, the Freedom Camping Act 2011 did not permit council to enforce a blanket ban.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said the new bylaw signalled an ‘‘enormous amount of progress’’ and was a ‘‘very good and essential step’’.

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