9 Dec 2015

Queenstown Lakes clamps down on freedom campers

5:01 pm on 9 December 2015

The Queenstown Lakes District Council is to literally start clamping down on freedom campers who park in the wrong places.

Drivers found flouting the Freedom Camping Bylaw will be forced to pay an up-front fee of $200 to have a wheel-clamp removed, as well as a $200 fine for breaching the regulation.

Council Regulatory Manager Lee Webster said freedom camping was a popular way to see the district, with many overnight parking spots accessible for vehicles that have their own toilet and water supply on board.

He said some people were camping in vehicles without facilities or in self-contained vehicles where freedom camping was not allowed and often left behind a mess.

"We get roughly around about 3000 infringements that we're issuing every year for people who are either camping in the wrong locations or aren't certified self-contained, which leads on to the negative issues in our community of people either leaving the litter around or even toileting in neighbouring bushes."

Mr Webster said around 30 people a week were caught freedom camping illegally and many left the district without paying their fine.

He said the clamping will start later this month.