The Responsible Camping Strategy is a high-level plan that provides direction for the Council on challenges brought by increasing numbers of visitors looking for camping opportunities. This is done through its management of regulations, provision of facilities, and visitor information. The Strategy will help inform future sites, prohibitions, and restrictions in the Tasman Freedom Camping Bylaw.
The Council adopted the Responsible Camping Strategy at the Full Council meeting on 28th April 2020.
Read the Council report here: Responsible Camping Strategy Full Council Report (pdf, 767 KB)
The Council will commence an in-house review of the existing and any potential new locations for freedom camping, using the site criteria in the Responsible Camping Strategy. The Council’s Freedom Camping Bylaw will then be reviewed and publicly consulted on. Consultation is expected to take place later in 2020.
Over recent years the numbers of campers in both self-contained and non-self-contained vehicles has increased dramatically, particularly in Motueka and Golden Bay. The increase in freedom and budget campers has come with challenges, including littering, waste disposal, noise, public space conflicts, safety, and commercial competition concerns.
We want to continue to be welcoming hosts to people wishing to enjoy the uniquely Tasman experience, and we expect our visitors to respect the special places and communities as they pass through.
The Responsible Camping Strategy provides direction as we manage responsible camping through regulations and by providing facilities and visitor information. It may lead to future rule changes in the Tasman Freedom Camping Bylaw.
The following principles have provided useful values-based guidance in all areas of the development of this Strategy and will continue to guide its implementation.
1. To protect the hauroa/health of the environment
Ensuring activities respect and protect the health of the environment and cultural values
2. To show manaakitanga
Respect and kindness to others, being a responsible host, making visitors feel welcome and nurturing relationships
3. To ensure sustainability
The places, facilities, and services we provide are environmentally, culturally and financially sustainable
4. To be adaptable and responsive to change
To monitor changing circumstances and effects of camping to inform decisionmaking
5. To work in partnership with iwi
Ensuring Māori cultural values are protected for future generations
6. To work together with others
Continually seeking opportunities to work with our communities to provide positive outcomes
7. To be effective and efficient in the use of resources
Sustainably manage limited resources to meet our objectives
8. To keep our community and visitors safe
Ensuring our wider family, friends, community, and visitors are safe
Council has to consider national legislation in deciding on its management approach to responsible camping.
The default position under the Freedom Camping Act 2011 is that freedom camping can take place on all Council owned or administered land unless it is necessary to either:
o protect the area,
o protect the health and safety of people who may visit the area; or
o protect access to the area.
Any restriction has to be a proportionate and reasonable response to the issues.
The Freedom Camping Act explicitly prevents Council from prohibiting freedom camping in all Council owned or administered land.
Council can also prohibit or restrict freedom camping on some of its land under other legislation (e.g. the Reserves Act).
Together with an independent consultant, Tasman District Council engaged with iwi, adjacent Councils, Department of Conservation, New Zealand Transport Agency, Land Information New Zealand, Nelson Regional Development Agency, and the Nelson Chamber of Commerce. Also, the NZ Motor Caravan Association, Holiday Parks Association of NZ, Nelson Forests, several Motueka Fruit growers, backpacker accommodation providers and social agencies involved in supporting the homeless (including the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust).
The purpose of the engagement is to understand all stakeholder needs and any community concerns.
The consultation period ran from 14 October - 18 November 2019. Feedback was encouraged to and made available online, through post and paperforms could be found at Tasman Distrct Council offices and libraries.
Murchison: 14 October, 11.00am - 2.00pm at the Murchison Sport Recreation and Cultural Centre
Motueka: 30 October, 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm at the Tasman District Council Motueka service centre, Hickmott Place
Richmond: 4 November, 2.00 pm – 5.30 pm, Richmond Mall
Golden Bay: 6 November, 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm, Tasman District Council's Takaka service centre, Commercial Street
We received over 180 submissions, and over 30 people came to speak at hearings that were held in Takaka, Motueka, and Richmond.
Thank you to everyone who gave their time to send us your thoughts on our Draft Responsible Camping Strategy.
Hearings were held in the first week of December 2019, and the Hearing Panel sent recommendations to the Council.
There was support from submitters for the general direction indicated in the Draft Strategy. However, some submitters expressed strong negative views about the impact of freedom camping on the environment, community enjoyment of public places, ratepayers funding facilities and/or competition with commercial accommodation providers.
Read all the submissions (with attachments at the end) here: Submissions for the Draft Responsible Camping Strategy (pdf, 15 MB)
Download and read the summary and the draft Responsible Camping Strategy here:
Fancy some night time reading? Take a peek here at the Freedom Camping Act 2011