New Zealand / Politics

$8m more to fund freedom camping facilities and education

11:38 am on 17 May 2019

The government has committed another $8 million to alleviate freedom camping issues around New Zealand.

The government has given $8.5 million to 28 territorial authorities to improve facilities and education for freedom campers. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Last summer, the government gave $8.5 million to 28 territorial authorities to improve facilities and education for freedom campers.

The big winners were West Coast's councils and the Queenstown Lakes, Mackenzie and Waitaki Districts.

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said the government had renewed the initiative following the success of last summer.

"Last summer we worked hard with local government and communities to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone," he said.

"The feedback we've received from councils and communities has exceeded all expectations, and it's great that we're able to do this again.

"We want to build on the success of last summer. This means making sure we're targeting funding and facilities at the right locations, to minimise any potential impacts on communities and businesses.

"We know that campers want to do the right thing, and want to travel around New Zealand responsibly. We need to support them to act as guardians of Aotearoa by providing information, education and the facilities they want to use.

"Our successful approach to responsible camping is a prime example of how the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy will work in action.

"We've shown that by working together with local government and the sector to come up with sustainable solutions to tourism issues, we can deliver better experiences for visitors and local communities alike."

The funding round will open 1 June.

The announcement will please organisations like Tourism Industry Aotearoa and the Queenstown Lakes District Council, which pointed to last year's funding as the big driver for an improvement in freedom camper behaviour last summer.