Kiwis no longer worried by freedom campers - survey

Kiwis are less worried about freedom camping than they used to be, a new survey has found.

The latest Mood of the Nation research by Kantar TNS found freedom camping - which sees tourists avoid campsites to stay on the roadside - is less hated now than in previous years.

 Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts says this is a good sign.

"A lot of investment went in over the last summer to try and manage some of the local community concerns about freedom camping. It looks like those investments have been worthwhile."

Residents have often been frustrated by freedom campers, some of whom have been caught leaving waste behind in council bins, or in extreme cases defecating on the ground and at beaches.

The research found North Island cities like Auckland and Wellington were the least concerned overall, while South Island places like Queenstown and the West Coast were the highest.

"Those are very popular areas, but with small local populations so the tourism is perhaps more noticeable in places like Queenstown and the West Coast."

The research has been going on since 2015.