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Marco Adreani (31), of Italy, said in two instances he was not in his Toyota Wish when the tickets were issued, while once he was sitting in his car watching a movie on his laptop.
''I think this is crazy, I am not a camper, my car is a normal car, [and] doesn't have sleeping facilities.''
The most recent ticket was issued yesterday when his car was parked in Frankton Rd outside the hostel he was staying in. The roadside parking was free and other cars did not appear to have been ticketed.
Mr Adreani provided the Otago Daily Times with a receipt for his night's accommodation at the hostel.
The back seats of his car have been folded down, the windows blacked out and a piece of black material is draped between the two front seats. He believed this gave freedom camping officers the impression it was being used to sleep in.
His sleeping bag and storage boxes were also in the back.
Mr Adreani claimed it was blacked out so he could edit photos and also to stop people from seeing in the windows or wanting to break in.
Council communications adviser Jimmy Sygrove would not comment on an individual case but said officers weighed up several factors when issuing freedom camping tickets.
''These include the location of the vehicle, whether someone can be sighted asleep in it, and if there is condensation on the windows etc.''
In one instance, when Mr Adreani was clamped and fined $400 in the Boundary St car park he admitted he was in the vehicle but was not sleeping.
He said when he arrived into town it was too late to get a hostel so he sat in his car and watched a movie.
Mr Adreani was told by the council it saw him as a freedom camper. It told him he should have ''pre-planned your trip and booked appropriate accommodation for the night''.