Support for signs

Jacqui Dean
Jacqui Dean
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has backed a move by the Queenstown Lakes District Council to increase signs at a freedom camping hot-spot near Wanaka.

The issue of waste left by freedom campers has escalated in recent times, after the Hawea Community Association first blocked access from State Highway 6 to three lakeside reserves at Lake Hawea, before a group of Riverbank Rd residents blocked campers along a stretch of the Cardrona River, near Wanaka.

Mrs Dean was pleased the council had offered support to the Wanaka community concerned at the impact of freedom camping.

Placing signs in the area to address the camping and rubbish issue was a good move, she said.

The frustrated communities in Hawea and Wanaka would not be able to fight the issue of freedom camping on their own, she said.

"The support of local governments around the country was needed," she said.

Mrs Dean's calls echo a list of initiatives formulated at the Freedom Camping Forum meeting in Auckland last week which called for local authorities to commit to more rigorous regulation of freedom camping.

Signs clearly marking where freedom camping was unacceptable was a first step for councils to get the message across, forum chairman Geoff Ensor said.

The people of Hawea had put the issue under the spotlight, Mrs Dean said.

Queenstown Lakes waste manager Stefan Borowy said the signs would be in place by the weekend.


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