Poor behaviour of minority puts free camping at risk

Published: December 14, 2015
Grey nomads free camping

The fierce debate over how much free camping should be allowed near popular tourist towns is not one which is exclusive to Australia. Indeed, in countries such as our near neighbours, New Zealand, the battle over freedom camping as it is known there is, if anything, even more vitriolic than the one being played out on these shores.

Sadly, it seems that the poor behaviour of a minority in New Zeraland is playing into the hands of those who would like to see the right to free camping further restricted.

The latest salvo in the escalating war of words has been fired over a new freedom camping area which has just been opened by the Napier City Council. Emergency services were called to attend an illegal fire on a nearby beach, sparking more outrage for those opposed to the free camp.  It seems that scores of freedom campers were  in attendance at the beach, despite the fact  that beach bonfires are now illegal across Hawke’s Bay.

“If freedom campers want to work with us then we will make them feel very welcome as they are travellers and we want them here,” said Napier mayor, Bill Dalton. “However, if they want to abuse our generosity we will come down on them like a ton of bricks.”

When the new area, complete with an amenities block and a safe drinking water supply, was set up last month the council assured objectors that it would be monitored to ensure the rules were being complied with.

However, Cafer Unac, who works at a bed and breakfast on Marine Parade, told the Hawkes Bay Today newspaper  he was fed up with the behaviour of some freedom campers.

“It’s not the older ones who are respectful and contribute to the economy but the younger ones who just don’t care,” he said. “It’s not fair that they get this million dollar view for free while my guests have to look out the window and see their laundry.”

He said the campers commonly urinated on the beach, were loud, and left rubbish laying around.

  • How can we stop the poor behaviour of a few spoiling it for the many? Comment below.
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6 years ago

Authorities will use any excuse to bar camping, but if they really checked all those causing the problem they would have to admit that most of them are locals out on the pisses. I’ve been a free camper on the Gold Coast for 5 years and meet many campers. Most of the mess and boozing is locals.

frank bowers
6 years ago

Never let a handful of punks ruin it for the rest of us. DOB THEM IN to the respective authorities. If you let it go on, then you might as well stay home also. the locals will love you even more, for doing them a favor, as well getting rid of undesireables.

6 years ago

Name and shame the hire company for a start this should make them explain what is required of them when hiring their campers to these ignoramouses

John Tognola
6 years ago

The only way to stop unruly behavour is to ensure all the campers regardless of age have self contained vechiles and enforce that

jack alexander
6 years ago

ban wicked vans.

6 years ago

Yes, definately discretely get rego and report hire vehicles doing the wrong thing to council or Rangers. Take note of number of people involved and any other relevant info.This makes the hire company responsible for the mess left behind and a nice big fine.

6 years ago

Why fine the van hire company? Fine the people responsible for the problems! They need to be held accountable, perhaps for the first time in their lives!! It’s too easy to hit someone else!!


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