Fines dished out to Dunedin's freedom campers


Overcrowding by freedom campers at some Dunedin camp sites is raising safety concerns.

Enforcement officers have issued almost 300 tickets over the summer to vehicles parked illegally overnight.

But campers believe the solution is more free sites.

It was an early morning for some freedom campers at Ocean View Reserve, who woke at 4am to find a council officer issuing fines.

Tobias Berger, a German camper, says he even spoke to the man issuing tickets and his response was they would have 28 days to pay $200.

Just half of the area is allocated to freedom campers, but more than 30 vans and cars are trying to pack into the small area each night.

It's one of only two spots in Dunedin for non-self-contained vehicles, which is why French camper Naomi Claval and her friends were told to come here.

Campers say they're careful to tidy up after themselves, and want to see more free sites.

But the Saddle Hill Community Board chairman, Scott Weatherall, is concerned that overcrowding could create a dangerous situation.

"Somebody's cooking their dinner or breakfast on a gas barbeque and it explodes. That's an absolute real concern for us, because of the density of the cars that are currently parked," he says.