Freedom camping bylaw held up

Hopes that the coming summer would see firm rules in place to restrict freedom camping on the Hibiscus Coast have been dashed.

Auckland Council announced on July 31 that its new Freedom Camping bylaw will not be in place, as planned, this summer.

Recently, Council consulted with local boards, putting forward sites it felt were suitable for freedom camping. The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board rejected four out of the seven sites that were suggested in this area. These included Duncansby Lookout & Esplanade Reserve in Stanmore Bay, the Orewa Library car park, Red Beach Lookout Reserve (at Vista Motu) and Victor Eaves Park in Orewa. The local board feedback is that only the Hammerhead at Gulf Harbour, Hatfields Beach Recreation Reserve and the seaward side of Stanmore Bay Park are suitable.

In a press release, Council’s social policy and bylaws manager Michael Sinclair says that due to the large amount of feedback from local boards, and further advice needed on the legal implications of the Reserves Act, the original timeframe is now not realistic.

This means that current rules under legacy bylaws will continue to apply this summer.

“It is important that we do this properly and extending the timeframe will give us more time for implementation and enforcement planning, which will be crucial to the success of the bylaw,” Mr Sinclair says.

“It also means that we can use this summer to do further monitoring around what is working at the current sites, and issues that need to be addressed.”

Council staff will work with the Regulatory Committee over the next few months to discuss issues that have arisen and receive direction on the draft bylaw.

A draft bylaw and statement of proposal will be presented to the committee later this year, and if accepted will go out for public consultation, followed by a hearings panel process before final adoption next year.


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