Discussions about the risks of losing the right to freedom camp and how to counter these.
 #114232  by RhysOwen
 Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:50 pm
https://www.change.org/p/dunedin-city-c ... in-dunedin

Please visit this petition and help save Warrington. We are not wanting a total ban, just a ban on non-self contained campers. We welcome self contained.

The dunedin city council is using our village as a dumping ground for non-self contained campers, at least that's what it feels like. Warrington has had up to 100 vehicles a night over summer parking in our sports field. The area has been over run. We are advocating for self-contained campers only as a means to reduce the numbers of visitors and to ensure those visiting have the required facilities.

Please help

Rhys
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 #114233  by mattn
 Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:04 am
I have stayed in the domain a few times. Its a great spot and deserves to be treated much better than it is. I full support any initiative the community makes to protect the areas unique and welcoming feeling.

The problem I see with banning non self contained campers is the times I have been there I have seen a number of large groups all having a good time, and it looks they are regulars. The tourism boom is driving Kiwis out of their own back yards. Where do these people go if Warrington is shut down. If alternate an site(s) are not made available, I would rather see a small charge (e.g. $5ppn), with someone form the local community to collect fees and oversee the site, (or an on site caretaker.). This model works well. The fact a person is collecting fees sends a clear message the site is 'being watched'. Places I have stayed that do this seem to be in better overall condition and the campers more socially responsible than 'free sites'.

Being pragmatic, and accepting that my preferred solution is illegal for the council to implement (Ban non-New Zealand residents) I have signed the petition.
 #114259  by beachy12
 Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:24 pm
A few camper cars are hardly going to destroy a village, more likely benefit it, this is more a case of over dramatic language to attract attention. There are toilets there and the council did infringement fines of over $70,000 in 2015 with campers being in the wrong place at the wrong time they might want to use some of that towards more toilets. In his photo there appears to be more kids than campers this appears to to be yet another nimby.
 #114264  by Zukiwi
 Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:43 pm
I can't see any kids in the photo, but certainly a considerable number of campers and their vehicles - at least 30. It highlights a growing tension with the boom in overseas tourists and domestic motorhomers - we're running out of suitable space for all our needs and this is impacting on small communities where we may freedom camp. Time to get that $12M spent on sites and facilities. And, sadly, make most FC sites CSC only. At a guess, well over 3/4 of the vehicles in that picture won't be CSC.

Cheers
John
 #114272  by RhysOwen
 Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:01 pm
Thank you John,

I think your comments are accurate and well considered.

In response to the earlier post: While there are toilets at Warrington; there are 2 ladies and 1 male toilet. The Dunedin city council counted an average 70 vehicles per night over summer parked at the Warrington domain, assume 2 or 3 people per vehicle, you can see why its an issue.

70 is a lot of vehicles per day/night driving in and out of a small community that previously had almost no traffic.

If you read the comments on the petition from the 230+ signatures you will see explanation from the wider community.

Regards
Rhys
 #114299  by mattn
 Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:11 pm
I don't think its the self contained status that is the major problem. My understanding is locals have been camping on the reserve for years in tents and such like. The problem is simply over crowding and overwhelming the environment and park with more users than can be sustained. The current government seems to think the more we have the merrier, and is raking in the cash and keeping it all to themselves, without considering the impact on the environment or providing funding for facilities. The peninsula is a sensitive ecosystem, the increased number of visitors must be taking a toll.

Restricting the site to CSC is the quickest, cheapest and most cost effective way to mange the environmental impact. The toilets are not capable of supporting the numbers using the site, so its reasonable to presume they are not being used by everyone all the time, especially if you consider the distance the toilets are from the far end of the site.

Longer term, other options would be build more facilities and/or charge for the camp site use. Use pricing to control numbers to sustainable levels. However, would be yet another situation where locals, previously having free use, are paying for the tourist industry profits. A better solution that is fairer is rate payers continue to get free (or at least discounted) access while visitors are required to pay. The precedent is set for this - the likes of public libraries require you to be a resident in the district to take books away and some tourist attractions (e.g. Hurunui residences get massively discounted access to Hamner hot pools, Tekapo residences get free access up the Mt John Rd.

What ever happens, the councils need to be made aware the of the impact on the environment the influx of tourists is creating. Loss of piece and quite, loss of enjoyment of a reserve or beach by ratepayers is a negative impact of tourism. How important it is, and how important it is to protect is is open for debate, but the loss will only be able to be measured once its gone, when its too late.

Are the locals NIMBY - after meeting a few when visiting, I don't think so. They are happy for people to visit and enjoy, but the numbers are starting to destroy what they come to enjoy.
 #114328  by beachy12
 Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:39 pm
Thats a good idea another csc site to exclude camper cars now were will they go, we need solutions, not another move them on approach, also there needs to be more sites and toilets its not rocket science.
 #114331  by Rosemary&Peter
 Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:38 pm
@beachy 12

....more toilets might not be the answer. Just the other night at a DOC Camp in the Far North, a 'camper car' rolled in at about 10 pm, parked, and one of the occupants grabbed a torch and headed for the nearest large tree for a squat. Rudely interrupted by yours truly (who has an even brighter torch.)

What is that about? The squatting in the bushes/trees/dunes when there are perfectly (reasonably) decent facilities close to hand? A morbid fear of long drops? The ferocious NZ weta... lurking to bite yer bum?

Whatever...I'm over it.

And, and, the "DOC camps are free!" line....spent some time debating this with a young South African Hippie Camper the other day on the wharf at Pukenui. "But they're free!" he insisted. "NO they are NOT free!" we countered....trying not to shout....but he was adamant.

And, and, what part of "Take your rubbish with you." is unclear?

Hmmm.....solution? Make ALL visitors to New Zealand buy a DOC Pass.....say $200 per head.

Having already paid to ....maybe they will use DOC camps. Then....since the rangers won't be wasting time collecting camping fees from lying, arguing, incontinent young tourists, they will be able to do more supervising/education/enforcing.

Some of us indigenous DOC pass holders could be 'deputised' to perform these onerous duties when the DOC ranger is absent. (Providing of course our own behavior is above reproach.)

Places like Warrington should have a maximum number of non CSC vehicles allowed per night. Confined to a specific area.

These youngsters are laughing at us....they think we are pushovers....(and I have had to change my opinion on this).

They have had it too easy for too long.

Rosemary.
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