For those hoping to tour NZ by campervan.

Plans to curb freedom camping
By GILES BROWN - The Press
Last updated 05:00 27/04/2010

People in sleepervans could be fined if they do not stay at campsites, under proposals to combat freedom-camping problems.

Campervan rental companies have agreed to tell people hiring sleepervans, which have beds but no toilet, that they cannot freedom-camp.

The initiative was one of 30 to emerge from a meeting of the New Zealand Freedom Camping Forum in Auckland last week.

The Tourism Industry Association-led forum said its local government members were working on a template freedom-camping bylaw that councils could adapt as necessary.

The local government representatives would also advocate a "national instant-fine system" to punish campers who broke the rules.

"At present, each council has different rules about freedom camping," association advocacy manager Geoff Ensor said.

"Local government has agreed to develop a model bylaw and share best-practice freedom-camping management models from around the country."

Councils, tourist information centres and operators would increase their efforts to keep campers informed of the rules, Ensor said.

Westland District Mayor Maureen Pugh, a forum member, will present the ideas at a meeting with other district councils in Dunedin next month.

Pugh went to the forum with instructions to investigate a ban on sleepervans, although she said she realised this was "not generally acceptable".

"All it was doing was demonstrating the level of frustration in the district," she said.

Westland residents have long complained of freedom campers using the bush and roadsides as a toilet, littering and sneaking on to campsites to use their facilities.

If rental companies told people in sleepervans that they had to stay at campsites it would solve many problems, Pugh said.

"It's that first point of contact which is so important," she said. "If they can do it, it saves us having to pick things up at the other end."

Freedom-camping bylaws would still vary, but councils needed to have the power to fine those who broke the rules, Pugh said.

Brendon Pope, general manager of campervan rental company Escape, said the firm encouraged customers to use camping grounds but was happy to work with directives from the forum or the association.

From here.