The New Zealand government has finally stepped to the plate to curb freedom camping. If you are unfamiliar with freedom camping it pretty much allows you to pitch a tent, park van or camper and stay for free at non-designated camping locations( think pretty much anywhere – underbridges, parks, school yards, fields). The problem is that some irresponsible travellers have being dumping human waste and garbage, ruining New Zealand’s clean and green country side. With the Rugby World Cup just months away, it is a major worry that tourist will be taking advantage of freedom camping to save money on accommodation.
The new Freedom Camping Bill will enable councils to determine where camping is allowed, where it is restricted to campervans with self-containment, and where it is prohibited. I personally think this is great. It will set a national standard and provide some consistency across the board. The new law will allow a $200 instant fine to be imposed for illegal camping. Fines up to $10,000 may be imposed by courts on a successful prosecution for illegally discharging a campervan’s sewage.
So if you plan to come to New Zealand and freedom camp your way around the country, beware that time’s they are a changing!