Christchurch latest council to ban freedom camping

9:23 pm on 2 November 2016

The Christchurch City Council has voted to completely ban freedom camping.

The council today amended a by-law to stop visitors from camping without a toilet on board their vehicle in areas where it had been possible to do so until now.

The change will take effect from next month, in five city areas and Banks Peninsula, in time for the peak of the tourist season.

Conflict flared last summer between freedom campers and local people wanting to use nearby beaches, but encountering problems with sewage and rubbish because of a lack of facilities.

Council staff were now working on a new bylaw to replace the existing one.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the amendments were a good first step.

"We were overwhelmed by numbers we hadn't anticipated, which is why we're in this situation we're in. But we're going to go through a full review process and that will enable us to go through all of the issues individually."

Ms Dalziel said it was about making visitors welcome, but protecting the environment at the same time.

Last month, a Waitaki District Council bylaw came into effect that banned freedom camping in North Otago.

Residents in the West Coast town of Punakaiki have also asked their council to set up a no-go zone for freedom campers.

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