Freedom camping fines may follow vehicles, not people

  • 25/07/2016
Freedom camping fines may follow vehicles, not people

Dunedin's Mayor is pleased a remit forcing freedom campers to pay their fines has passed overwhelmingly at the Local Government AGM.

The initiative will see fines linked to the vehicle instead of the person, putting the responsibility on rental companies to get the money.

Dave Cull says the companies already have the campers' credit card details and this will be a much more reliable way of making sure the fine is paid.

"By the time the ticket has rendered its way through the system, those people might be out of the country. They don't own the van, and therefore there's no way of collecting the fine."

The remits that passed at the AGM will now be put to central Government for consideration.

"It's not a matter of whether it's right or wrong to fine the vehicles rather than the people - it's finding a reliable mechanism to control the problem."

Christchurch City Council is considering a complete ban on freedom camping, unless vehicles have on-board toilets.

"There is a small percentage who are in unconfined freedom-camping vans who don't have ability to collect toilet waste et cetera, who are breaching the laws and ruining it for everybody, and we want a tougher set of regimes to control that," says Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule.

Labour leader Andrew Little is heading to Dunedin with a number of Wellington politicians for the Local Government NZ conference.

Mr Little speaks to the conference in the afternoon as does associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston.

In the morning Mr Little is visiting South Dunedin with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull to promote Labour's Affordable Housing Authority plan.

Dunedin's leaders have called for the Government to join the conversation about South Dunedin's future.

A report released by the Otago Regional Council earlier this month said parts of South Dunedin are under the threat of permanent inundation from groundwater because of a sea-level rise.

Newshub. / NZN