31 Oct 2018

Dunedin's inner-city freedom camping site delayed

7:06 pm on 31 October 2018

The opening of a new inner-city freedom camping site in Dunedin has been delayed.

The inner-city freedom camping area is still in the works.

The inner-city freedom camping area is still in the works. Photo: RNZ / Tess Brunton

The Dunedin City Council is trialling the Thomas Burns Street site until late April in a bid to relieve the growing pressure on existing sites.

Freedom campers will be able to stay within walking distance of the Octagon over the summer.

The site was meant to open on Thursday, but the council confirmed that's been delayed until next week.

Council parks and recreation services group manager Robert West said preparation work wasn't finished in time.

"It's being set up for a car park so after the trial ends in six months time, it reverts to being a car parking area for local people," Mr West said.

"We've still got a wee bit of work to do around the sealing and the line marking. We want to make sure we've got that absolutely right before we open it."

The site is expected to open with a new drinking water tap, sink, new bins, port-a-loos and signage on Monday.

The Thomas Burns Street site was chosen after the council conducted a review of its camping season last year.

"We could see that numbers were growing at our Warrington and Ocean View sites, which are the two sites we allow non-self contained vehicles to stay in the city," Mr West said.

The pilot site was a bid to better manage the increasing freedom campers staying in Dunedin, he said.

"Managing freedom camping in New Zealand and Dunedin, I think, is a working process... what we're trying to do is aim to get a little bit at it each year.

"We're looking at developing sites that have the least impact on our local residents."

The site is a non-residential area of the city, but it's close to the CBD and tourist attractions.

The area will be available for casual parking between 8am and 6pm with normal parking fees applying during that time, and there will be a separated area for leased parking.

The council received $79,000 from the Government's Tourism Facilities Grants Fund, which covered most of the costs.

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