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Camping in Public Places

This page contains information about the proposal to make a bylaw to regulate camping in public places in the District, and we want to hear your feedback.
Updated: 11/07/2017 3:44 p.m.

​New bylaw proposed

Whangarei District Council is proposing to make a bylaw to regulate camping in public places in the District, and wants to hear feedback from you about it.

Camping on public land is a popular summer pastime across New Zealand and an opportunity for an affordable holiday for domestic and international visitors – but there have been some problems. 

Complaints are frequently made about inappropriate disposal of human and solid waste by campers, and that our rules are confusing. 

The aim of the proposed bylaw is to support responsible camping in a way that balances the needs of campers with the protection of the environment, the residents and the wider community. 

We have drafted a bylaw that provides some controls around camping both generally and in specific areas in the District. Our aim is to make the rules easier to understand and therefore comply with, as well as making sure that we control camping in a way that meets the needs of our communities.

Key elements of our proposal:

  • Camping is prohibited on all sportsparks (14 areas), seven coastal areas and seven other areas in the District.
  • Camping is restricted to a designated site or carparks in 12 coastal areas and four urban Whangarei areas and campers can only stay for one night before moving on.
  • All types of camping, including non self-contained vehicles and tents, is permitted in nine areas within 50 metres of the 24/7 public toilet at the location. Campers are only permitted to stay one night in these areas.
  • Camping in non-self contained vehicles, within 50 metres of a 24/7 public toilet is permitted in 20 areas. Campers are only permitted to stay one night in these areas.
  • For all other public land in the District, camping is only permitted in a self-contained vehicle for a maximum of three nights.

An interactive map of the specific locations with these prohibitions, restriction and permissions is available on our Camping in Public Places page on our website.

What do we want to know?

We want to use this proposal as a starting point for a discussion on camping in public places in our District, but there are two things that are ‘out of scope’, or in other words; are not up for discussion:

  • Council cannot, under the Freedom Camping Act, ban ALL camping in the District. The legislation specifically prohibits this.
  • Council will not consider non self-contained camping options that are not close to a 24/7 public toilet. The reasons for this are detailed in the full Statement of Proposal (SOP).

We want feedback on the following key matters:

  • Are there any areas missing in the prohibited and/or restricted areas? If yes, which ones and why should these be included?
  • Should Council provide the proposed areas for non self-contained camping or should this be further restricted?
  • Should self-contained camping outside of the restricted areas be allowed for up to a three-night maximum or should it be shorter or longer?
  • Is a one night maximum stay suitable for restricted and/or non self-contained areas?
  • We also want to know if you agree with anything in the proposal, both generally or for specific  areas.

There are lots of ways to make submissions on this proposal.  To find out more go to our website or call in and pick up a hard copy. The public notice on the right gives you more detail about the process. 



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