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Government looks at freedom camping issue

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/07/2016

The government is looking at giving councils more power to deal with freedom campers.

The move comes after Christchurch City Council signalled it's consulting on a blanket ban on freedom camping in vehicles without self-contained toilet facilities.

Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says he's asked officials to look at options to deal with the issue as part of the current review of council regulatory tools.

The review will consider widening the infringement powers available to councils and also look at the different approaches councils are taking to freedom camping.

"I have heard council feedback that greater powers are needed," he said on Friday.

The minister says freedom camping is growing and is an important part of the tourism industry.

The Freedom Camping Act was a good first step but had not solved all the issues, he said.

The Department of Internal Affairs is leading the review in collaboration with councils, Local Government New Zealand and others.

Officials are expected to report back in September with options before the summer camping season.

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