New Auckland Council bylaw could ban freedom campers from 300 spots

Freedom campers will be fined $200 if they overstay their welcome under a proposed new bylaw in Auckland.

The Council wants to ban campers at 300 spots around the city, but would allow overnight camping in more than 100 areas under the plan.

Germans Helen Krauss and Kristina Duwe say they've been sticking to the freedom camping rules.

But in Auckland, it's been too difficult to work out where they can and can't park up for the night.

"It's the first time we are in a big city, and we looked online or something, but haven't found anything," they told Newshub.

Auckland Council has plans for a new bylaw which they say will make it more clear.

It proposes freedom campers that aren't self-contained - as in the vehicle doesn't have a toilet on board - could stay at 13 sites across Auckland. Ninety-four areas will be set aside for campers who have a toilet in their vehicle, but 315 would be a no-go for any freedom campers.

Because of the freedom camping law, it's up to individual councils to pick and choose where they want to restrict the campers, but they're not allowed to impose a blanket ban.

"All we can use at the moment is an Auckland Transport bylaw or a public safety and nuisance bylaw," says Councillor Linda Cooper. "So there's not a lot of teeth in that. We can tell people to move on, there's not a lot we can do."

The council says it will take a humane approach to the homeless and they won't be fined. People would be allowed to stay up to two nights where freedom camping is permitted.

Northcote Point's million dollar views are popular, and under the bylaw it would become a designated site.

Locals say campers are welcome - as long as they behave themselves.

"There's a lot of kids, my little girls playing here, you always sort of worry about the type of people that are [camping], you know, with alcohol," one resident told Newshub.

"As long as they don't leave rubbish it's not a problem," said another.

"I think it's good, as long as they don't really interrupt the kids because it's a very popular playground to go to."

Others told Newshub they were worried there might not be enough toilets for the freedom campers.

Under the proposal, it wouldn't be a free-for-all at the more than 100 sites set aside for freedom campers. Instead there would be two to four designated car parks that would be sign posted.

Aucklanders have 10 weeks from Monday to have their say on the bylaw. If it goes ahead, the restrictions will be in place by next summer.