Auckland Council’s proposed new freedom camping bylaw is open for public feedback until December 5.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no regional public events and all consultation is happening online.
However, Council’s community and social policy general manager, Kataraina Maki, says if internet access is a problem for anyone, they can call Council to make other arrangements, and special Zoom sessions will be held with Council staff instead of the usual Have Your Say events.
“We are providing bookable sessions where the public can choose to chat face-to-face online with members of our bylaw panel,” she says. “This gives a meaningful opportunity for people to still provide feedback in person, and ensure they are seen and heard.”
The live face-to-face session for Rodney will be held on the afternoon of Monday, November 15, although if anyone can’t make that, they are welcome to attend one of the other sessions being held on various dates between November 8 and 22.
Council’s Freedom Camping – Have Your Say website includes four separate links for providing feedback or finding information – there is an online survey form; registration for the live Zoom sessions; a questions section; or a tab to share experiences, good or bad, of freedom camping, or campers, in Auckland.
There is also an extensive FAQ section, maps showing proposed restricted and prohibited areas, a timeline and links to the proposed bylaw in full and other relevant documents.
“We want your views on whether we have the balance right – between providing a safe and enjoyable experience for freedom campers visiting Auckland and protecting our environment, health and safety and access to public space for everyone,” Council says.
Once feedback closes on December 5, it will be summarised on the Have Your Say webpage, then all of it will be considered by a bylaw panel at a public meeting in April. The panel will then make recommendations to Council’s Governing Body at a public meeting in May.
Info and feedback: https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/freedom-camping-bylaw or call 09 301 0101
The proposed new bylaw designates four areas in Rodney where freedom camping will be prohibited – Warkworth Town Hall • Leigh Library • Pakiri Hall • Ti Point walkway.
There are also five areas where it will be restricted – 8 Church Hill, Warkworth • Parry Kauri Park, Warkworth • 70 Kokihi Lane, Snells Beach • Port Albert Wharf Reserve • Wellsford Community Centre.
Otherwise, there are two key differences between this proposal and the previous freedom camping bylaw proposal from 2018, which was dropped by Council after a legal challenge by Omaha Beach residents.
The first is that this version does not include reserves, as camping on reserves is covered by the Reserves Act 1977, where it is generally not permitted.
The second is the introduction of four general rules that would apply to all other Council-controlled land, including roadsides. These would require all freedom campers to use a certified self-contained vehicle; stay a maximum of two nights in the same spot; vacate parking spots by 9am on the day of departure; and not return to the same spot for two-weeks.