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Freedom campers face fines from Thursday

Thursday 1 Dec 2016 5:55 a.m.

The amendments to the bylaw were approved a month ago (Getty)

The amendments to the bylaw were approved a month ago (Getty)

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Christchurch is cracking down on freedom campers this summer.

A ban is coming into effect today on all freedom camping that isn't done in a "self-contained" vehicle, with toilet facilities on board.

"Anyone observed camping in a non self-contained vehicle will receive a $200 infringement fine, and be required to move from the site immediately," says Christchurch City Council head of regulatory compliance Tracey Weston

Ms Weston says the ban will "protect the health and safety" of people visiting public areas, and that lessons have been learnt after tourists swarmed camping hotspots last summer.

"The volume of campers utilising these sites put undue pressure on the facilities to such an extent we had to close those sites down."

The amendments to the bylaw were approved a month ago, the Deputy Mayor insisting it wasn't a total ban.

"It's important to highlight that Christchurch is still very much open to freedom campers and other visitors looking to make the most of low-cost camping grounds," said Andrew Turner.

"The recent public consultation showed a clear majority of submitters were in general support of the changes to the Freedom Camping Bylaw, and this gave confidence to the council's decision today."

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