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Marlborough Council Reviews Freedom Camping Bylaw Impact on Industry

Freedom camping in Marlborough, New Zealand has seen a slow increase in numbers but still remains below pre-Covid levels.

A spokesperson for the Marlborough District Council reported that since December 1, there had been a few complaints received and some warnings given to campers. However, no infringements have been issued, according to a report by the Stuff NZ.

The council has regular patrols by responsible camping rangers on their five freedom camping sites, with an educational focus on freedom camping rules in the district. The spokesperson also confirmed that campers who received warnings so far this season had responded well.

The council is currently undergoing a review of its freedom camping bylaw, which the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association is closely watching. The association took the council to the High Court over its 2020 bylaw, which it believed was too prohibitive. 

A judge ruled in December 2021 that the council needed to properly consult the public before adopting the bylaw.

In response, the council has gone back to the drawing board and proposed opening three new sites, bringing the total number of freedom camping sites to eight. In its interim decision in April last year, the panel requested further site assessments be carried out for potential freedom camping sites. 

This could see the area available for freedom camping in Marlborough significantly increase, including Alfred Stream in Rai Valley, Renwick Dog Park, Lansdowne Park, Wairau Plains roads, Southern Valley roads, Waihopai Valley roads, Awatere Valley roads, and Wairau Valley roads. 

However, specific roads still need to be identified and require a confirmation from Marlborough Roads that they are suitable.

The latest report on the bylaw is expected to go to the council’s assets and services committee next week, providing further insight into the impact the bylaw review will have on the caravan and camping industry in Marlborough.

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March 15, 2024 6:47 pm

Isn’t it amazing to see Marlborough Council really stepping up to look out for both campers and the community? I love how they’re taking the time to educate campers on the rules and considering adding more camping spots. It shows a real commitment to making sure everyone can enjoy the beauty of Marlborough responsibly and sustainably. Cool to see them working towards a positive impact for visitors and locals!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Marlborough Council Reviews Freedom Camping Bylaw Impact on Industry! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/australia/new-zealand/marlborough-council-reviews-freedom-camping-bylaw-impact-on-industry/